Communique issued at the end of the 3rd National Council Meeting on Niger Delta held at the International Conference Center, Ogurube, New Layout, Umuahia, Abia State from 23rd — 27th July, 2018.
1. The 3rd National Council Meeting on Niger Delta was held at the International Conference Center, Ogurube, New Layout, Umuahia, Abia State, from 23rd to 27th July, 2018. The Meeting was declared open by the Honourable Minister, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani. The theme of the Meeting was “Fostering synergy and Institutional Coordination for Development in the Niger Delta Region.” Fifty-Three (53) members drawn from the nine (9) states of the Niger Delta region, relevant Federal and States Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), representatives of Development Partners, Civil Society Organization (CSOs) and International Oil Companies (IOCs), attended this year’s meeting.
2. Preceding the Council was a three-day Technical Committee session held from 23rd – 25th July, 2018. The Technical Session was declared open by the Governor of Abia State Government, His Excellency Okezie Ikpeazu (Ph. D), who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, and chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla. The technical session received and evaluated 34 memoranda while 27 were recommended for consideration and approval by the Council. Six (6) papers on critical subjects relating to the theme of the meeting were presented and discussed at the plenary session.
3. The Council expressed concern over the lack of implementation of past approved memoranda and urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) to revisit and implement the resolutions reached at the last Council.
4. The Council called on the MNDA, to redouble its efforts in coordinating projects and programmes execution by all intervening bodies in the region in order to accelerate development.
5. The Council noted the importance of strengthening monitoring and evaluation of projects by all stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability.
6. The Council made the following notes and recommendations:
i. Noted that youth empowerment remains a veritable means to engender peace and should be intensified and called for programmes targeted at peaceful youth and communities;
ii. Recalled the approval at the 2nd Council on Niger Delta of a Youth Sports Engagement Programme (YSEP) to promote peaceful co-existence, harmony and stability. This project should be immediately pursued;
iii. Enhance engagement of communities in the security and peace efforts in the region;
iv. Reiterated the need for alternative sources of funding for the completion of on-going capital projects in the region and encourage the adoption of Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the delivery of critical infrastructure and services.
v. Noted the importance of the Inter-Ministerial committee chaired by the Vice President as a vehicle for promoting synergy and cooperation that is required to galvanize collective support for the development agenda of the Niger Delta region;
vi. Noted the need to give greater attention to women and gender issues at all levels of government in the region for inclusiveness;
vii. Noted the spate of abandoned and on-going projects resulting from inadequate funding and called for concerted efforts to develop a work plan through coordinated efforts by implementing MDAs and emphasized a buy-in of Stakeholders in the Niger Delta Development Plan;
viii. Noted the importance of education for employment policy as exemplified in Abia State and encourage its replication in other parts of the region;
iv. Emphasized the need for education, sensitization and training of host communities in the oil producing areas on disaster mitigation by relevant Stakeholders;
7. Council particularly expressed deep appreciation to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhamadu Buhari, GCFR and the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, SAN, GCON for their relentless efforts towards the development of the Niger Delta region. The Governor, Government and people of Abia State are highly appreciated for their laudable support and hospitality for the success of the 3rd Council Meeting.
Issued at Umuahia, Abia State on this day the 27th of July, 2018.