The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs , Usani Uguru Usani, has called on all stakeholders to work together in promoting development in the region and its environs.
Usani made the call in an interview with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.
He urged stakeholders to be more concerned about what would accrue to the region rather than the financial benefits accruing to them.
Usani added that stakeholders should also focus on performance and structural reforms in the region.
He said that to ensure a progressively stable management by streamlining the administrative structure, a development policy must be evolved and adopted by all stakeholders.
“Such a policy will act as a complementary guide to the Niger Delta Regional Master Plan and help configure a sound planning, operational and quality management track for the commission,” he said
He said that the development policy should itemise and prioritise the goals of the region within a specific time frame.
“For instance, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) policy can define conditions for intervention in an infrastructural development or expansion project.
“It can set five –year targets in agriculture and aquaculture using community based cooperatives as a vehicle.
“It can also foster partnerships with international agencies and local partners for potential development initiatives in health, education and the environment,” the minister said.
He, however, called for a Sustainable Development Partnership as a mechanism for greater relevance in the region which would also include a representative of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The minister said the progressive drop in revenue should be the concern of the Federal Government.
He added that it was important for NDDC to have an interface with National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to develop the region.
“That’s the only way the region can compute, derive and pursue what rightly should accrue to its coffers from the producing companies.
“Economically, the NDDC plays a very important role in the economy of the Niger Delta, but the companies only remit what they decide to after their autonomous computation of what the three per cent means to them, ” he added.
The minister said it would sustain over 50,000 permanent and temporary jobs across the region.
“But it also offers a window for the implementation of crucial reforms which must be founded on a realistic development policy,” he said .
He said that the small management team was an opportunity to design a transformational framework for the NDDC.
“It is an opportunity to engage the very competent skill set within the region,“ he said.
The minister said that key stakeholders had commenced the design of a development policy for the organisation that would drive subsequent intervention efforts. (NAN)