Honourable Minister of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Umana Okon Umana, has promised to publish a list of completed and uncompleted projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission for public scrutiny, as part of efforts to pay contractors and usher in a new era of transparency and accountability.
The Minister was addressing newsmen at the end of a two-day top management retreat for the Ministry and the Commission held at the State House Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Umana expressed the Ministry’s determination to prioritize high impact projects at the NDDC to improve living conditions of Niger Delta people, adding that only “projects that are of great importance to the various communities would be embarked upon due to available resources, for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta region.”
He explained that the objective of the retreat was to harmonise activities and programmes of the two organisations, as well as “build a stronger collaboration that will improve performance, for the sustainable development of the region.”
He added: “The Ministry and the NDDC have also resolved to strengthen collaboration with all stakeholders, by consulting effectively with state governments and other critical stakeholders and partners in driving development in the region. We are determined to make sure that we build a common collaboration, not just between the Ministry and NDDC, but with other stakeholders, the IOC’s and all those who are critical to our success, in order to drive development in the region.”
Umana said that collaboration will involve effective consultation with various State Governments on project conception, execution and monitoring, “so that all stakeholders will be on the same page,” adding: “We have considered the issues impeding the performance of the two bodies and have come out with strategies to deal with identified problems that will alleviate poverty in the region.”
While expressing gratitude for the contributions and continuous efforts of the ministry and NDDC towards promoting the programmes, mandates and developmental goals of both organisation, he promised that positive impact would be achieved in the lives of the people of Niger Delta region within a short time.
The two-day retreat witnessed papers from the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folushade Yemi-Esan, who spoke on ““Federal Government Reforms Initiatives: The Role of MDAs”, and former Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr. Goke Adegoroye, who spoke on “Ministries and its Agencies Relationship: A Panacea for Infrastructural Development and a Prosperous Niger Delta Region.”
Other papers included “Prudent Use of Government Resourses” by Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, “A New Niger Delta: The Vision and Mandate of NDDC,” by the Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Dr. Efiong Akwa, as well as an overview of the retreat presented by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Engr. Olufunso Adebiyi.