N’Delta Ministry to strengthen ties with Donor Agencies, Says Akpabio

The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) would strengthen relationship with donor agencies and development partners to boost the provision of basic infrastructures and social-safety programmes that would guarantee sustainable peace and development in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio disclosed this at the luncheon meeting with development partners and donor agencies recently in Abuja.
The meeting was to strengthen the existing collaboration and also appreciate their developmental intervention in the region

The Minister called on the development partners and the donor agencies to inject more funds into the region either by direct investment, by way of grants or through collaboration with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry.

According to Senator Akpabio, the Ministry was in need of technical support to take the region out of poverty and redirect the people in the cleaning up of the environment, remediation and oil spills prevention and management, pollution of the air and the land and in the management of concomitants disease that comes as result of oil exploration and exploitation in the region.

Other areas the Region needed technical assistance according to the Minster, were the provision of better health care facilities, provision of potable water supply, construction of good roads and the creation of employment opportunities so that the youths will not go back to militancy.

According to Senator Akpabio, the Ministry had been in discussion with United Nation Development Programme UNDP, World Bank, European Union (EU) and other development partners for grants and assistance in order to fund critical developmental activities in the Niger Delta Region.

He noted that the current administration was determined to change the narrative of the region through fundamental reforms aimed at repositioning developing efforts to ensure resources deployed in the region are well utilized.

In his remarks the Honourable Minister of State, Senator Omotayo Alasodura encouraged the development partners and donor agencies to continue to play very active roles in ensuring a peaceful and prosperous Niger Delta Region which would aid the development of the region for sustainable national development.

He said that the Ministry was committed to transparent and accountable governance with regards to resources and efforts deployed to develop the region.

Earlier, The Permanent Sectary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson- Jack, in her welcome remarks said that the aim of the meeting was for the Honourable Minister to brief the donor agencies, representatives of Heads of Governments, Development Partners, International Oil Companies (IOCs) of the new administration’s vision with regards to Niger Delta stabilization and development.

She added that the role of the Ministry was to coordinate the development in the Niger Delta region as well as to solicit possible areas of collaboration and partnership with the Development Partners and Donor Agencies.
She therefore encouraged the Donor Agencies and all major stakeholders, to support and collaborate with the Ministry to add value to the efforts of government.

“The task of developing the region are enormous but not unsurmountable, with joint commitments and efforts we can make meaningful impact,” she added.
In her remarks, the Deputy Chief of Missions US Embassy, Kathieen Fitz Gibba said that the US will continue to give financial and technical assistant to all developmental programme in the region.

In his remarks, the Team Lead, Niger Delta Stabilization Programme, Alex Sewell said that the meeting was a laudable attempt to make a complex programme easy to manage, adding that the SDN coordinated data with the help of the Ministry and other departments for the development of the region.

Representative of UN, Canadian High Commission, Netherland and UNDP amongst others were in attendance.

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