The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Babayo Ardo, has called for adequate funding to enable the ministry deliver on its mandate of accelerated development of the oil-rich region.
Ardo, who stated this when the National Coordinator of SERVICOM, Nnenna Akajemeli and her team paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, said the ministry is commitment to upscale in its service delivery process.
He said, “The mandate of the Ministry is to formulate, execute and coordinate plans, programmes and other initiatives to fast track the development of the Niger Delta region, noting that the engagement between the Ministry and the SERVICOM office would help the Ministry to get stronger and better in its service delivery, ” he said.
The permanent secretary, in a statement by the director of press and public relations, Deworitshe Patricia, commended SERVICOM for helping to drive service delivery nationwide.
According to him, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affair has made giant strides in its short period of 12years of existence, noting that “the interface between the Ministry and the clients are done with a view to providing institutional framework for driving reform activities in the Ministry to attain its mandate.
He noted that one of the acute challenges negatively impacting on the activities of the Ministry to deliver its mandate is the area of funding, since the Ministry’s inception in 2009 its budget has been on decline, whereas the needs of the people of the Niger Delta Region are on the increase, longer period of raining season and environmental disasters also contributes to the poor project execution.
Ardo stated that in the area of service delivery, the Reform Coordination and Service Innovation Department has been undergoing a repositioning process since 2019 in order to strengthen the Ministry’s service delivery system. Thus, a new Ministerial SERVICOM has been constituted and would be inaugurated soon.
Reacting on the issue of militancy, the Permanent Secretary recounted the genesis of the problem of the region and observed that the impasse requires gradual solution; according to him, “the Ministry is engaging the youths and stakeholders through Community Development Education and Empowerment programmes geared towards uplifting the lives of the people of the region”.
“The completion and inauguration of the multi billion naira newly completed office complex of the , shows that the Ministry is determined to work and see to the rejigging and repositioning of the NDDC”, he added.
Speaking further, Ardo stated that the Ministry has various projects already completed and awaiting commissioning in different states of the Niger Delta region. These projects according to him would make positive impact and ensure sustainable development of the region.
In her remarks, Akajemeli commended the efforts of the Ministry adding that more can be done in the area of sensitization and sensitivity.
“It will require a lot of thinking out of the box such that it can begin to facilitate and fashion out customer sensitive focus service improvement activities and programmes, giving out information about the Ministry’s engagements and its challenges”.
Akajemeli stated that, “the Ministry should always give out information to the citizens and stakeholders so that they would be able to understand some of these tough decisions, tough scenarios that Ministry have to cope with, adding that a lot of work can be done around consultation.
According to her, “We can do advocacy using the SERVICOM platform to get feedbacks, customer’s perception, and engagements to know what their priorities are”.
She stated that this platform would help the Ministry take right decisions that would cushion the effect of negativities in the environment as well as add value to the lives of the Niger Deltans.