THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has approved over N1.8 trillion for the development of the some selected Niger Delta states in the next five years.
Disclosing this on Tuesday in Abuja at the meeting of stakeholders on the implementation of the Niger Delta Action Plan, hosted by the National Planning Commission (NPC), the Minister of the commission, Abubakar Sulaiman said the “sum of $10 billion has been projected by the UNDP for the funding the Niger Delta Action Plan (NDAP) over the next five years.”
He explained that the NDAP, which covers Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Rivers States, was developed following various consultations with and support of the International Development Partners (IDPs), aimed at providing a coherent and coordinated development strategy for the region.
“Recall that the plan is a strategic and coherent development implementation strategy for social and infra structural development in the Delta region. It describes the road map to achieve sustainable and positive change in the region to radically stem the wave of youth restiveness’’, Sulaiman said.
The meeting had in attendance, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Stephen Oru, the UNDP Resident Coordinator, Daouda Toure and representatives of the various development partners in Nigeria.
A statement issued by the Head of Media and public Affair Salisu Haiba said Sulaiman, who is also the Vice Chairman of the NPC, noted that a similar intervention provided by the European Union (EU) for support in the region, through the World Bank assisted project State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR Project) funded from the Intervention Development Association (IDA).
“The overall objective of SEEFOR Project is to enhance opportunities for youth employment and access to socio-economic services, while improving public expenditure management systems in the four participating states of Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Rivers States,” he said.
While describing the action plan as a landmark achievement in addressing the problems of the Niger- Delta region, Sulaiman stressed that “an era of contractors abandoning construction sites after collecting money has come to end, as effective monitoring and accountability will be ensured by the commission”
Oru, in his address, stated that the plight of the long neglected people of Niger – Delta region, is fast receiving the much anticipated attention it deserves, stressing that the Federal Government cannot do it alone.
He said that the beauty of the document is the tendency to curb incessant cases of duplication of projects implementation and waste of resources due to multiple claims to projects implementation by competing organisations that operate in the region.
Oru, pointed out also that, the main thrust of the action plan for the Niger Delta, is the proposed Multi Stakeholders Trust Fund, which is the key driving force.