NDDC Board: South-south elders back Akpabio

…Inaugurates implementation Committee
By Emmanuel Elebeke

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio says the launch of the Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP) for the region will bring to an end the era of project duplication and multiplication by agencies of government in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister stated this at the official presentation and launch of the SIWP on Thursday in Abuja.

He explained that, though, there had been tremendous efforts and commitments on SIWP before he assumed office in 2019, the SIWP remained one of the critical instruments the ministry identified to trigger the anticipated change in the region.

When implemented, he said that the plan is expected to provide coordinated framework for implementation developmental interventions in the Niger Delta region; provide joint accountability framework for monitoring and evaluation of projects in the region and deliver a strategic response based on shared vision for development by stakeholders in the region.

He also stated that the Plan is expected to demonstrate the Federal Government’s commitment to peace and development as well as offering a platform for agencies to work on a single infrastructure project with same reflecting and being appropriated funded in their respective budgets

Similarly, Akpabio said the SIWP e-portal; a web-based monitoring system was designed allow the public view projects being carried out in the region by both the public and private organizations.

‘‘We are taking a giant leap in positioning the Niger Delta region to attain her pride of place as a prosperous oil rich region, able to achieve its developmental goals. As part of our promises to push for uncommon development in the Niger delta region, we quickly realized that it was imperative to critically review previous policies and efforts geared at developing the Niger Delta region by our predecessors. ‘‘This was to effectively guide our interventions as well as take the best policy options to achieve much faster, optimal results for peace and prosperity by eliminating challenges faced in the region.’’

‘‘One of the critical instruments we identified to trigger the anticipated change in the region is the Strategic Implementation Work Plan. WE have been able to attain the threshold by strengthening SIWP to deliver on planned objectives which resulted in its official presentation today. We have given impetus to its execution by obtaining Federal Executive Council’s approval to institutionalize its implementation and compiling other ministries, departments and agencies of government working in the region to fully participate in the initiative for the development of the Niger Delta region,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, the minister said about 77 roads has so far been completed and 28 under-water facilities built for training of youths in the region.

He expressed optimism that the move would not only bring faster development in the region n but bring agitation to an end.

Recall that SIWP emerged a as a result of concerted and several high level political engagements by the Federal Government with key Stakeholders of the Region in 2016. It is also a collaborative framework designed to coordinate all development interventions of both government agencies and private organizations operating in the Niger Delta region.

It was initially anchored by the Office of the Vice President before the Ministry took charge due to its oversight mandate in the region.

High point of the event was the unveiling of the e-SIWP portal and inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee of SIWP comprising representatives from office of the Vice President, ministry of works and Housing; Environment; power, petroleum resources, Office of Presidential Amnesty Programme and Niger Delta Development Commission.

Part of their job is to review and update the SIWP; support in the technical coordination for implementation of projects in the region and to liaise with technical departments in various ministries and agencies and implement commitments captured in the work plan.

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