By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, has identified the duplication of projects occasioned by the lack of synergy among development agencies as one of the major challenges delaying the pace of development in the region.

Bisalla, who spoke at the ongoing third National Council on Niger Delta holding in Umuahia, Abia State, expressed the hope that the council would provide a veritable forum for synergy among critical stakeholders and development partners in the region with the aim of fast-tracking the desired growth and development.

A statement issued by the Director (Press) in the ministry, Mr. Marshall Gundu, quoted Bisalla as saying
that his ministry, as the coordinator of development initiatives in the Niger Delta region was “very responsive and eager to listen and receive fresh ideas and recommendations that will emerge from this meeting”.
The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, who declared the meeting open, stated that the development of the Niger Delta region was crucial to the peace and development of the country.

Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Deputy, Ude Oko, called on the federal government to evolve ways of completing the numerous abandoned projects in his state, adding that doing so was crucial to the region.

The governor observed that the council’s theme: “Fostering Synergy and Institutional Coordination for Development in the Niger Delta Region” was apt as it provided stakeholders room to deliberate on ways to attract the much needed development to the region.

Other stakeholders, who spoke at the event, noted that despite efforts by the federal government to develop
the region through various initiatives, there were still calls for more to be done in order to move the region to its desired level of development.

They pointed out that the level of development in the region was not commensurate with the huge investments channelled into it over the years.