From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has launched the Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP) geared towards the overall development of the Niger Delta. VThe Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, while speaking during the event, said the SIWP was one of the critical instruments the government has identified to trigger the anticipated change in the Niger Delta region. Akpabio stated that the SIWP would bring to an end, the era of project duplication and multiplication by agencies of government in the Niger Delta region.
He recalled that when he assumed duty in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, part of his promises to push for uncommon development in the region was the realization of the imperative to critically review previous policies and efforts geared towards the development of the region by his predecessors.
Akpabio added that the move was to effectively guide the interventions of the government, as well as take the best policy options to achieve much faster, optimal results for peace and prosperity by eliminating challenges faced in the region. While acknowledging tremendous efforts and commitments on SIWP made before he assumed office in 2019, Akpabio said the threshold was attained by strengthening the SIWP to deliver on planned objectives.
“As you are aware, the SIWP is not a new initiative in the Niger Delta region. It emerged as a result of concerted and several high level political engagements by the Federal Government with key stakeholders of the region in 2016.
“It is a collaborative framework designed to coordinate all development interventions of both government agencies and private organisations operating in the Niger Delta Region,” Akpabio explained. Akpabio further said the potential and benefits of the SIWP were enormous for the Niger Delta region, adding that the SIWP was expected to become more visible and effective when projects and programmes of other critical stakeholders in the region are uploaded and all respective efforts are able to be tracked, using the e-portal.
Akpabio also said in order to reap the benefits of the SIWP, there was the need to properly coordinate the developmental and implementation processes to effectively deliver on planned outcomes.
“To this end, I am delighted to inform you that an inter-ministerial technical committee has been constituted and will be inaugurated by the Ministry,” Akpabio disclosed.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Babayo Ardo, said the ministry was proudly committed to implementing initiatives geared towards the socioeconomic development of the Niger Delta region. He added that the SIWP presented and launched by the ministry was one of such instruments that will assist in achieving the dream of the government for the region.