Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has challenged the people and residents of the Niger Delta region to assess the performance of the present leadership of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with the outcome of the proposed National Council on the Niger Delta, slated for September, 7th to 14th 2017 in Akure, Ondo State.
The Minister stated this at a joint press briefing with the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Barr. Agboola Ajayi, in Abuja on Friday.
Pastor Usani said the purpose of the briefing was to let Nigerians know the level of preparedness of the Federal Government and the host Ondo State, for the Council meeting.
‘’ The 2nd National Council is holding and those who saw the 1st Council should be able to assess us on our performance based on the outcome of the coming Council. ‘’ He added.
The Minister reiterated that the Acting President has also indicated his determination to be at the event, showing the seriousness this administration attached to the issues of the Niger Delta region.
‘’We have chosen Ondo state for a strategic reason, as many people do not believe that some States outside the South-South geographical zone belong to the Niger Delta region. ‘’ The Minister stressed.
He also said the Government of Ondo State has shown proactiveness in responding to Federal Government initiatives, noting that it was the first State in the Niger Delta region to key in to the Presidential Initiative on Investment and Agriculture which was flagged off in the state recently.
Pastor Usani hinted that necessary appraisals would be drawn from the 1st National council on Niger Delta, held in the year 2013. “The appraisal will serve as a work plan in our medium term plan from 2017-2019.”
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Barr. Agboola Ajayi thanked the Federal Government for its interest in the development of the state and the synergy that had been existing between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Ondo state, under the current leadership.
He assured that Ondo State would not only host the coming event but that it would be unique. ‘’This second council will be a new Niger Delta council.” The deputy Governor stressed.
Barr. Agboola who alleged that the oil producing communities of Ilaje, Ese-Odo of Ondo state were not captured in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs’ 2017 Budget, called for wider consultations in preparing subsequent budgets of the Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Director overseeing the office of the Permanent secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Moses Okpo, commended the government of Ondo state and the Local Organizing Committee for the level of preparation on the coming council. He urged the state government to ensure a peaceful National council in Ondo state.
The Theme of the Proposed National Council on Niger Delta is: ‘’ FAST-TRACKING DEVELOPMENT AND THE PEACE IN THE NIGER DELTA: OPTIONS AND PROSPECTS. ‘’
1st September, 2017