Despite efforts by the Federal Government to develop
the Niger Delta region through various initiatives, there are still calls for more to be done in order to move the region to its desired level of development.
These calls are on the realization that the level of development in the Niger Delta region does not commensurate with the huge investments that have been poured into it, over the years. This appeared to be the opinion of stakeholders at the opening ceremony of the 3rd National Council on Niger Delta, being hosted by the Abia State Government.
While declaring the National Council open on Monday in Umuahia, the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, represented by his Deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu,said that development of the region was crucial to the peace and development of the country, adding 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.
The Governor called on the Federal Government to evolve ways of completing the numerous abandoned projects in his state as it was crucial to the region. According to him, ‘ whatever happens to Abia state affects the entire Niger Delta region’.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, identified that duplication of projects caused by lack of synergy among development agencies is one of the challenges delaying the pace of development in the region.
Bisalla expressed hope that the Council will provide a veritable forum for synergy among critical stakeholders and development partners in the Niger Delta region with the aim of fast-tracking the desired growth and development.
He added that the Ministry, as a 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’.
Executive Secretary of Abia State Planning Commission, Ugoeze Adanma Iheuwa stressed the need for stakeholders of the Niger Delta region to cooperate in order to
encourage the initiation of more developmental projects as well as foster peace, reduce poverty and create more job opportunities in the region.