NDDC: FG Assures Stakeholders Of Collaborative Development

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs said in addition to engaging state governments, the ministry will work with communities and their leaders.

The Federal Government has assured stakeholders in the Niger Delta region that a new template of collaboration and partnership has been developed to guide engagements of the Niger Delta Development Commission henceforth.

 

This was revealed recently by the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, who was a guest on ‘Politics Nationwide’, a Radio Nigeria Audience Participatory Programme.

Umana, while answering questions on topicaI issues about the ministry and agencies under its supervision, disclosed that one of the critical areas of development the ministry is strengthening is partnership with stakeholders and state governments in the region.

According to him, “just recently when we had the meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, I did say that we would ensure that we collaborate a lot more with the state governments and that it was wrong for the NDDC, for example, to go and start projects in any state without discussing with various state governments.

“If you go and start something, you may be duplicating projects and wasting efforts and resources and may not even fit into the development plan of the various states.

“So, I believe we did not do too well in the area of partnership and collaboration. Now, it’s one area we are working on, and moving forward, I believe that we will have some improvement in this area”.

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The minister said in addition to engaging state governments, the ministry will work with communities and their leaders to ensure proposed projects are actually what they want and are committed to.

“You cannot go anywhere and start a project without involving the communities. Usually, the contractors would ensure that there is someone appointed who will liaise between the contractor and the community.

“That is the procedure now, but as I said, we will take it to the next level of ensuring that state governments are more involved because when they are more involved, the issues of land are solved and we can also get the governments to help the ministry and the NDDC, through collaborative effort, to deal with some of these issues, even the problem of compensation”, he said.

On the issue of projects so far executed by NDDC, the minister told Nigerians that his ministry is publishing a compendium that will give the locations of the projects, costs, the scope and when they were completed.

“These will be circulated for public scrutiny. This is being addressed already. I gave a timeline. I said next month, we will launch the compendium”.

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