By Ochuko Akuopha
DELTA State Civil Society Organizations for Good Governance, DECGOG, has described as baffling and misleading, claims by the Pan Niger Delta Development Forum, PANDEF, that the Federal Government abandoned the Strategic Implementation Work Plan, SIWP, by creating the Niger Delta New Vision.
DECGOG, in a statement by Dr. Andrew Agborho, said “SIWP has always featured prominently in the presidency’s engagements with stakeholders across the region, of which. PANDEF representatives have been invited or participated in.”
The statement read: “It would be recalled that the Niger Delta New Vision, which is aimed at developing the region, was framed after the Vice President’s visits to the region in 2017. Prior to the Vice President’s visit, in November 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari met with PANDEF leaders so as to address concerns in the region.
“Also, in 2017, to address issues of socio-economic instability in the Niger Delta, an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by the Vice President was set up.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee, comprising directors from various from federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and PANDEF representatives, then developed the Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP), which complements Federal Government’s efforts in coordinating development interventions in the Niger Delta.
“The SIWP is crucial part of the Niger Delta New Vision to develop the region which we all are stakeholders. So, PANDEF’s claim that the Vice President had abandoned the SIWP for the Niger Delta New Vision clearly misses the point.
‘Interestingly, the SIWP consists of short-term, medium and long-term projects with core focus on 13 development strategic objectives for the region as contained in the Federal Government’s 20-point Agenda and PANDEF’s 16-point Agenda.
“From the FG’s continuous engagements with stakeholders in the region, it is clear that the SIWP is not a hurriedly conceived idea, but a template within the New Vision for Niger Delta’s development. From the ongoing projects under the New Vision, we believe that President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo remain fully committed to developing the region.”
“We urge PANDEF and other stakeholders in the region to support the Federal Government’s efforts as we all join hands to develop our dear Niger Delta region, and nation. We also urge the federal Government of Nigeria to expedient action in the implementation of the Niger Delta New Vision.”