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Oborevwori Urges NDDC To Finish Abandoned Projects

Speaking at the 6th Meeting of the National Council of Niger Delta (NCND) in Asaba.

By Nkiruka Aduba

Delta State Governor, the Right Honourable Sheriff Oborevwori, emphasized on Tuesday the importance of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) completing all ongoing and abandoned projects in the region for the welfare of the populace.

Speaking at the 6th Meeting of the National Council of Niger Delta (NCND) in Asaba, he underscored the significance of the agency’s intervention in fostering urban-rural integration, generating employment, and fostering regional economic progress.

He further remarked that the “forum is a strategic platform for states in the Niger Delta region to focus on issues and challenges of common interest, create a more dynamic and equitable arrangement for regional prosperity, and deepen our collaboration for using the region’s natural resources for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

“Let me appeal to the NDDC to take steps to urgently complete all ongoing and abandoned projects in the region.

“Indeed, the existence of the National Council on Niger Delta recognizes the interdependent nature of economic and political systems and the value of regional approach to economic development.

“Economic diversification is key to our growth aspirations. Hence, I welcome ideas on how we can reposition our agricultural economies and invest massively in critical social and economic infrastructure.

“I also expect this meeting to develop the blueprint for a more robust and effective public-private partnership to accelerate industrialisation in our various states.”

Oborevwori stressed that urgent steps needed to be taken in addressing the protracted problems of poverty, unemployment, and inequality in the region.

“By far the biggest challenge confronting us is the ugly spectre of youth unemployment, with the attendant effect of youth restiveness. The region boasts of a vast army of jobless young graduates, a clear and present danger to our collective peace and security.

“Urgent interventions are, therefore, needed to get the youth productively engaged. While the various states in the region have embarked on youth entrepreneurship development programmes, there is a compelling need for the Federal Government to work closely with the states to develop sustainable youth engagement programmes.

“Here in Delta State, the services sector accounts for over fifty percent of the non-oil economy, followed by agriculture twenty-seven per cent, and manufacturing nineteen per cent to the State’s GDP.

“Thus, we are equipping our youths not only with employability skills but also with the technical and vocational skills to participate in business, trade, and commerce.

“As we navigate our way through the current national economic crisis, it behoves on us to prioritize the development of agricultural value chains in our areas of comparative advantage, notably aquaculture, oil palm, cassava, rice, and maize.

“It is my considered view that these are areas needing urgent attention and follow-up for our dreams for the economic growth and development in the Niger Delta region to become reality,” the Governor added.

During his speech, President Bola Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, highlighted that the Council’s focus aligns with his administration’s objectives under the renewed hope agenda. He emphasized that this agenda aims to instill hope among all Nigerians during challenging times. He urged patience from the region’s residents regarding infrastructural development, stating that his administration has devised a comprehensive plan for the overall progress of the oil-rich area.

Chairman of the Progressives Governor’s Forum and Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, advocated for ideologically driven discussions on the region’s development and urged the NDDC to convene a meeting of the Governors from the nine Niger Delta states to chart a path forward for development.

Earlier, Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, expressed gratitude to Governor Oborevwori for hosting the National Council meeting. He noted that the Council, in collaboration with other stakeholders, is diligently working to enhance infrastructural and human capital development in the region, in accordance with President Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda.

In response to Governor Oborevwori’s counsel, the Minister assured that the Ministry would collaborate with the NDDC to finalize all ongoing and neglected projects throughout the region.

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