A group known as Niger Delta Peoples Movement, NDPM, has called for the merging of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for the effective and coordinated development of the region.
The group lamented that funds meant for the development of the region are being looted by corrupt officials of the ministry in conjunction with politicians to the detriment of the people and development of the region, pointing out that merging the ministry with NDDC will avoid duplication of projects and ensure that resources are pulled together to develop the region.
In a resolution signed by the Convener NDPM, Dr. Ejiro Ineneji, after it’s enlarged meeting in Yenagoa, said the group was formed to promote regional integration and development, adding it has the panacea for the development of the Niger Delta.
NDPM regretted that the continued failure to address issues of environmental degradation, unemployment, abject poverty, and insecurity in the Niger Delta region fueled by oil exploitation and neglect by the multinationals and government at all levels has caused immense suffering to the people of the region.
He said: “In the face of environmental degradation, unemployment, abject poverty and insecurity in the Niger Delta region fueled by oil exploitation and neglect by the multinationals and government at all levels, the Niger Delta Peoples Movement, NDPM, was formed to promote regional integration and development.
“Our panacea on how to address the issues and bring sustainable development to the region includes: among other things we are calling for the scrapping of the Ministry of the Niger Delta, or alternatively merged it with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to avoid duplication and ensure that resources are pulled together to develop the region.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria must invest in creating jobs and providing opportunities for the people of the Niger Delta Region. The government must provide training and education to the people to help them acquire the necessary skills to be self-sufficient and economically independent.
“Investment in agriculture, fisheries, and other viable industries must be implemented. The Government must also invest in the development of critical infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, schools, clean water supply, etc, these would help improve the standard of living of the people and attract investors to the region.
“Security, the government must provide adequate security for the people, property, businesses, and God’s given resources of the Niger Delta region and this will help address the issues of insecurity and promote peace and stability in the region.
“Environmental Remediation, the government must take immediate action to clean up the oil spills polluted areas in the Niger Delta region. The oil companies and contractors operating in the region must also be held accountable for their actions and be made to remediate the damage they have caused as this will help restore the ecosystem and improve the health and well-being of the people of the region.
“Community participation in the government must involve the local communities in the decision-making process and ensure that their voices are heard, this will help promote transparency and accountability in the management of the region’s resources.”