The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, has stated that since the assumption of duty in August 2019, the Ministry has achieved milestone by completing some ongoing projects despite the challenges of Covid-19 Pandemic and the obvious paucity of funds. He said the Ministry has worked assiduously well to ensure the completion of the 13 and 8-storey buildings at NDDC headquarters to be commissioned in February subject to Presidential Approval.
The Minister stated this during a Press Briefing organized by MNDA yesterday in Abuja to appraise the achievement of the Ministry and unveil Plan to Drive Development in the Niger Delta region mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Akpabio said the MNDA is undertaking pre-emptive steps rather than being reactive to development concerns in the Niger Delta region. Therefore, the Management considered plethora of issues bordering on the region, issues of development and underdevelopment, minimizing issues of corruption in NDDC, Ogoni Clean-up, Peace and Security, completion of East-West road, encouraging Foreign Direct investment in the region. Engaging Public Private Partnership to complete some ongoing projects and alternatives source of funding.
According to the Minister, “the Ministry at its first Management Meeting held on 11th January, 2021, took a review of our activities for 2020 by reassessing the projects and programmes that we have embarked on so far, based on our budgetary provision and also evolved a work plan for this year 2021 going forward, setting timelines for ourselves”.
The Minister gave a rundown of 52 other projects in the nine Niger Delta States ready for commissioning with emphasis on the Skill Acquisition Centre (SAC) at Agadagba in Ondo State with 38 buildings, which would be handed over to Federal Polytechnic Ile Oluji, subject to Presidential approval. He added that the upcoming Train 7 of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would benefit from the Under Water Welding Facility at SAC Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, MNDA, Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura pledged the determination of the Ministry to ensure that things are done differently with accountability and transparency to ensure sustainable development in the region.
Alasoadura stated further that taking into cognisance Mr. President’s interest in the development of the Niger Delta region, a monumental projects that would be attached to President Buhari’s Administration should be embarked upon and commissioned.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, MNDA, Dr. Babayo Ardo, who reviewed the report card of the Ministry for 2020, said the achievements of the Ministry under the Ministers were quiet tremendous, cutting across all states of the region. Therefore, he said the essence of the press briefing is to give a run-down of MNDA achievements and projection of activities for the year, 2021.
Some completed projects include Construction of Cassava Plant Processing Plant at Usugbene Irrua, Edo State; Construction of Health Centre, Amauzari Community, Isiala Mbano, LGA, Imo State; Construction and Furnishing of Health Centre, at Odi, Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, Bayelsa State; Land Reclamation/Erosion Control Works at Nsit Attai LGA, Akwa Ibom State; Construction of Health Centre, at Eworkpe, Emede, Isoko South LGA, Delta State; Construction of Umudike-Umueze-Umuoyere Road Project, (Phase 1) River State; Construction of Mini Water Works at Ikot Effiong, Effiong Village, Akasoko Clan (Idundu/Anyanganse Ward) Akpabuyo LGA, Cross River; Construction of Boreholes and Reticulation in Ndulu-Amaoba, Oboro Water Project, Ikwuano LGA, Abia State.
D (Press and PR)
13th January 2021