Report on the 3rd National Council on Niger Delta Held at the International Conference Centre, Ogurube New Layout, Umuahia, Abia State Monday 23rd – Friday 27th July, 2018

Executive Summary

The 3rd National Council on Niger Delta (NCND) meeting 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 the meeting.

The 3rd Meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta was preceded by the Technical Session and Meeting of Officials which was attended by delegates (officials of State line ministries/agencies) from the nine States of the region, development partners, NGOs, Youth Organisations, invited resource persons and the delegation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

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 was 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.

The Technical Session commenced with the presentation of thematic papers by invited resource persons. These were:

i. Reworking Development in the Niger Delta Region: Prospects and Retrospects by Dr. Ochi C. Achinuvu, OON;

ii. Oil Exploitation and Climate Change Impact on the Niger Delta Region by Dr. Ferdinard D. Giadom;

iii. Capacity and Sustainable Development: Developing Capital Capacity as an Empowering Strategy for Youth and other Vulnerable Groups in the Niger Delta Region by Dr. Ben Irikefe, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria;

iv. Harmonization and Coordinating Synergy in Tracking Development in the Niger Delta Region: Strategies to Deliver Development Results by Dr. Charles Achodo, Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of State (Petroleum);

v. Agric-Preneurship Development as a Sustainable Empowerment Strategy in the Niger Delta Region by Prof. Olukayode Ogunsanwo, University of Ibadan; and

vi. Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation Platforms and System as a Mechanism for Sustaining Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan in the Niger Delta Region by Dr. Lawal Zakari, mni, National Planning Commission.

These papers were discussed and considered by syndicate groups and resolutions adopted at plenary. 34 memoranda were presented and considered by the Technical Committee. The breakdown of the conclusions of the Technical Committee were as follows:

 S/N  Decision  No of Memos
 1.  Total No. of Memos considered  34
 2.  Memos Recommended to Council  27
 3.  Memos Consolidated into another Memo  4
 4  Memos Stepped Down  4

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Federal Government inaugurates Community Projects in Ogoja Local Government Area, Cross River State

In keeping with its commitment to the welfare of the people at the grassroots, the Federal Government has inaugurated a community town hall and a solar-powered water projects at Ishibori and Abakpa communities in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Inaugurating the projects on Thursday, the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to rendering services to the society without fear or favour. "This administration has not come to recompense evil for evil, every government has the responsibility to serve the society and we are doing so without any partisanship; that is why we are spreading projects in every community and various constituencies in the Niger Delta region according to their needs and availability of resources," the Minister stressed.

Pastor Usani added that government's efforts in Ogoja land were not limited to the town hall and a solar-powered borehole being inaugurated alone, but that several other people-oriented projects were being handled by his Ministry, while many on-going internal roads being undertaken by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Ogoja Local Government Area would soon be completed and inaugurated accordingly, for the use of the people.

He called for the support of the people of Ogoja for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which according to the Minister, "Had recorded a number of infrastructure for the people to see."

The Minister charged the people of Ishibori and Abakpa communities, Ogoja land in general and the entire people of the Niger Delta region to remain law abiding citizens, urging them to make effective use of government's projects in their localities and also ensure the security of the facilities, so that government would be encouraged to do more.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu Bisalla, represented by the Director Community Development and Education in the Ministry, Mrs. Lauren Braide, noted that social welfare and community engagements were critical components of the Federal Government's Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the mandate of the Ministry.

He added that prime attention was given to the provision of community facilities due to their far-reaching impacts on citizens' participation in governance.

Presenting the goodwill message on behalf of the Ntol Mgbeje Ama lll and the people of Ishibori community, the Vice President of Ishibori Development Council (IDC), Chief Ale Ujum expressed the delight of the people in the quick intervention of the Federal Government to make the dream of the community town hall which had lingered for decades, into reality within one year.

"This project has given this community a facelift," he reiterated.

Towoju, Raphael B.
For: Director Press
21st September, 2018

Federal Government distributes 150 Tricycles to Youths, Women in Cross River State

Federal Government has distributed 150 tricycles to youths and women in Calabar, Cross River State. This is in line with its mission of improving the economic and social wellbeing of Niger Deltans.

The initiative aimed, at improving the ease of transportation and enhancing economic activities in the State, which is one of many put in place by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to improve the standard of living of the people in the Niger Delta region.

This was disclosed in Calabar, Cross River State, by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, at the distribution of the tricycles where he revealed that the programme was aimed at improving the lives of the vulnerable in the society, the physically challenged, widows, and orphans, who are, most times, financially handicapped.

The Minister, who was represented by Mrs Lauretta Braide, Director of Community Development and Education Department of the Ministry. He said the event was the first phase of the scheme was limited to three Local Government Areas of the Southern Senatorial District of the State. She also said that other parts of the State and other states of the region would benefit from subsequent phases of the empowerment programme as soon as the implementation of the 2018 budget commences.

He expressed hope that the initiative would lead to improved peace and development of Cross River State and other states in the Niger Delta region. He said that the scheme was complementary to the commendable efforts of the State Government to create employment opportunities for its populace.

Usani advised the beneficiaries against selling their tricycles as this would defeat the essence of the scheme, rather, they should be put to good economic use for their benefits, their families and the society.

In his remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Aminu Aliyu BIsalla, represented by Dr. Sam Eno, Director of Planning, Research and Statistics congratulated the beneficiaries for getting selected to gain from the scheme and urged them to put the tricycles to good use.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Florence Akonjom Ayip, thanked the Federal Government for “thinking of such a brilliant initiative”.

Mrs. Ayip said that as a widow it had been financially tasking to take care of her children and other responsibilities, expressed confidence that the tricycle would help in ameliorating her difficulties. Mrs Ekanem Henshaw, another beneficiary commended the Federal Government for making the scheme gender sensitive, promising that her tricycle would be judiciously used to improve her financial status.

Mr. Richard Etim Edet, a youth beneficiary said that been selected, as one of the beneficiaries was a big relief, as he would no longer wonder to earn a living.

Marshall Gundu

Director Press

11th September 2018.

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