The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has constituted a committee to coordinate the harmonisation of the various Operational Development Plans in the region into a single coherent Regional Development Strategy.
This development was contained on Friday, in a statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Patricia Deworitshe in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria reports that the committee is expected to enhance government efforts in intensifying and improving on the development of the Niger Delta region.
Membership of the committee was drawn from the Ministry and NDDC.
The Minster who was represented by the Permanent Secretary (PS) Dr. Babayo Ardo, explained that this have become imperative considering President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, concern and interest to bridge the huge gaps between resources invested in the region Vis a Vis the infrastructural human and economic development recorded over the years in the area. The president therefore charged the Ministry on the harmonisation of the development plans.
The permanent Secretary noted that, “the two major plans developed with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the Ministry in coordinating development and implementation some years ago includes the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Regional Development Master Plan and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Niger Delta Action Plan.
“Successive efforts by other stakeholders in the region also led to the initiation of other existing development plans. Therefore the multiplicity of plans, absence of standardization and failure to manage the plans led to poor delivery of those plans and their expected outcomes.
“In actualizing the Presidential directives, an initial study of the existing plans was carried out by a consultant engaged by the Ministry. This process produced a strategic document for the development of a united single plan for the region, which would be adopted as a working document for the committee”, he said.
While urging the committee to take the assignment very serious, he outlined the terms of reference (TOR) for the committee among others to include, reviewing the initiating framework for the Harmonisation of the Development plans in the Niger Delta Region into a single coherent Regional Development Strategy.
Chairman of the committee and Director Planning Research and Statistics in the ministry, Mr Alfred Abah while soliciting for the support of the Ministry and NDDC assured the Permanent Secretary that the committee did not have any reason to fail.
He said the committee would start by setting out a work plan and timeline, which will produce the desired result and would not hesitate to co-opt any of the directorates when the need arises.