Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe
The Federal Government has jump-started a review of the draft Niger Delta Action Plan to ensure that it encapsulates actions critical to the development challenges of the region.
The review followed a three-day retreat held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State at the behest of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
A statement made available to THISDAY by the ministry’s Deputy Director (Press), Mr. Fidelis Osammor, said the retreat offered an opportunity to examine “the concept paper on the establishment of the Council on Niger Delta” and, “thus deliberated the mechanisms necessary for communication on its merits to relevant ministries, departments and agencies.”
“The retreat also identified portions of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that could have negative impact on the Ministry and made relevant inputs into the 2012 Petroleum Industry Bill that will strengthen the Ministry’s role as a coordinating agent on matters relating to the development,” the statement added.
The minister, Godsday Orubebe, who declared the retreat, disclosed that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was created in 2008 with the mandate to formulate and implement policies, projects and programmes and coordinate development activities in the Niger Delta region on commencement of effective operation in 2009.
It was said to have held preliminary consultations with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for a joint Technical Working Group to articulate a collaborative development framework for the Niger Delta, adding that the group comprised officials of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and representatives of Development Partners, including UNDP, World Bank, USAID, EU, DFID and PIND as well as the Embassy of The Netherlands.
“The efforts of the group culminated in the delivery of the Niger Delta Collaborative Development Framework, which articulates and spells out the future intervention measures for the Niger Delta in consonance with the Niger Delta Master Plan and Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020. The framework which has now been developed into the Draft Niger Delta Action Plan is a comprehensive and coherent programme of investment in the social and public sectors.
“The Plan has three broad but integrated components namely: Public Sector Investment Programme which covers large infrastructure development and reconstruction; Social Sector Investment Programme which focuses on investment in social sector, covering Community-based development, Community-recovery process and Community-security stabilization measures generation; and Institutional Capacity Development and Multi-stakeholder Trust Fund outlining the programme implementation and governance framework as well as the financial requirement for its execution,” the statement said.