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Niger Delta Ministry to Collaborate with NDDC on Completion of All Ongoing, Abandoned Projects, Momoh Assures Governor Oborevwori - TELL Magazine

Niger Delta Ministry to Collaborate with NDDC on Completion of All Ongoing, Abandoned Projects, Momoh Assures Governor Oborevwori

Niger Delta Council meeting
Niger Delta Council meeting

The Minister of Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh, has assured governors of the oil-producing states that all ongoing and abandoned projects in the region would be completed, stating that the ministry would collaborate with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, towards achieving this.

Momoh, an engineer, was responding to the appeal by the Delta State governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, when the state on Tuesday hosted the 6th Meeting of the National Council of Niger Delta (NCND) with the Theme: “Stimulating Strategies For Economic Growth and Development in the Niger Delta Region”, that all abandoned and ongoing projects in the region be completed.

Thanking the governor for hosting the National Council meeting, the minister assured that his Ministry would work with the NDDC to complete all ongoing and abandoned projects across the region, adding that the Council was also working assiduously with other stakeholders to improve on infrastructure and human capital development in the Niger Delta region in line with President Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.

Governor Oborevwori had earlier in his address, noted that the intervention of the agency was crucial in facilitating urban-rural integration, creating employment opportunities for the people, and enabling regional economic growth.

Describing the forum as “a strategic platform for states in the Niger Delta region to focus on issues and challenges of common interest, create a more dynamic and equitable arrangement for regional prosperity, and deepen our collaboration for using the region’s natural resources for inclusive growth and sustainable development”, he appealed to the NDDC “to take steps to urgently complete all ongoing and abandoned projects in the region”.

According to him, “The existence of the National Council on Niger Delta recognises the interdependent nature of economic and political systems, and the value of regional approach to economic development. Economic diversification is key to our growth aspirations. Hence, I welcome ideas on how we can reposition our agricultural economies and invest massively in critical social and economic infrastructure. I also expect this meeting to develop the blueprint for a more robust and effective public-private partnership to accelerate industrialisation in our various states”.

Governor Oborevwori identified “the ugly spectre of youth unemployment, with the attendant effect of youth restiveness” as by far the greatest challenge confronting the Niger Delta region, which he noted “boasts of a vast army of jobless young graduates, a clear and present danger to our collective peace and security”. He therefore expressed the need for urgent interventions to get the youth productively engaged.

The governor said while the various states in the region had embarked on youth entrepreneurship development programmes, “there is a compelling need for the Federal Government to work closely with the states to develop sustainable youth engagement programmes”, pointing out that “Here in Delta State, the services sector accounts for over 50 percent of the non-oil economy, followed by agriculture, 27 percent, and manufacturing, 19 percent to the State’s GDP”.

According to the governor, “Thus, we are equipping our youths not only with employability skills, but also with the technical and vocational skills to participate in business, trade, and commerce. As we navigate our way through the current national economic crisis, it behoves on us to prioritise the development of agricultural value chains in our areas of comparative advantage, notably aquaculture, oil palm, cassava, rice, and maize.

“It is my considered view that these are areas needing urgent attention and follow-up for our dreams for the economic growth and development in the Niger Delta region to become reality,” the Governor added.

In his remarks, President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, said the focus of the Council was in tandem with his administration’s objectives in the renewed hope agenda. Stating that the ‘renewed hope agenda’ is focused on bringing hope to all Nigerians in this trying period, President Tinubu appealed to the people to be patient on infrastructure development of the region, adding that his administration had developed a holistic plan for the overall development of the area.

Chairman, Progressives Governor’s Forum, and Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, called for ideology-based conversation on the overall development of the region, and urged the NDDC to call a meeting of Governors of the nine states of the Niger Delta, to discuss the way forward on Niger Delta Development.

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