Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) has approved five million euros for the completion of two skills acquisition centres in the Niger Delta region.
It also gave the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs the nod to attract and mobilise ten million euros investments to the region.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, who made the disclosures in Akure, Ondo State during the opening session of the second National Council on Niger Delta (NCND), said his ministry was refocusing attention on activities that would ensure rapid development of the region.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the federal government to the exploitation of bitumen in Ondo State, adding that everything the Ministry was doing was in consonance with the governmentâ€™s initiative for economic diversification.
The minister stressed that with the current cordial relationship between his ministry and contractors handling some of its projects, efforts were geared towards completing those projects that have direct impact on the people in the region in the areas of education and health.
Also speaking at the end of the event, Usani said the NCND had considered measures that would end the challenges of physical infrastructure, shoreline protection, security and unemployment in the region.
Usani said: â€œWe have taken into cognisance memos that have to do with physical infrastructures, youth, women, vulnerable, physically challenged, coastal line protection, peace and security.â€
Job creation, he said, was a major concern for the federal government, adding this had accounted for governmentâ€™s initiative for the revitalisation of moribund industries in the region and that the government was also expanding space for agricultural value chain production so that more people could be involved in this sector to create jobs.
According to him, the NCND had given the ministry Ministry opportunity to â€˜take bearing
from the outcome of the first National Council which took place in 2013 and to also convey the results of our appraisals of how well we have come with the implementation of decisions reached.â€
The appraisals of the 2013 council, he disclosed, would serve as the foundation for the new steps being taken by the ministry in tandem with the challenges and dynamic posture of the environment of the ministry and the Niger Delta region.