The Minister for State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, Wednesday, restated Federal Government’s commitment to the development of the oil rich Niger Delta region.
Alasoadura who at the opening ceremony of the Community Residence Programme held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, however, lamented that the destruction of government properties was depleting the revenue base of the states in the region.
A statement by the Ministry’s Director Press and Public Relations, Patricia Deworitshe said the Minister pointed out that insecurity, lack of will by community leaders and religious organizations have resulted in the slow pace of development of the oil rich region.
The Minister therefore urged the youths to endeavour to be self reliant through sheer determination and meaningful associations and engagements and called for continuous sensitization on improved value system and entrepreneurship so that the youths and women will be gainfully engaged in meaningful activities.
He reiterated the Federal Government’s continuous commitment to improving the well-being of the people of the Niger-Delta region.
According to him, “the Federal Government will continue to do its best by training Youths, Women and also building the capacity of its stakeholders as this is the only way to bring Government closer to the people”.
While fielding questions from participants, the Minister stated that the programme has been instituted to tackle endemic issues as low level of human capacity development, poor infrastructure development, hunger, high level of unemployment amongst the youths and women.
The Minister said that the programme is designed to: Enhance the community stakeholders for competent and responsible democratic participation and civil Engagements; Sensitize and empower communities to be able to keep track and monitor Government projects and programmes in their domains; Build capacities of communities to be able to influence positively on matters that concern them and Train community members that will serve as focal points in the promotion of positive and wholesome values in their respective communities in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking further with the stakeholders in the area of development of the communities, the Minister encouraged the trainees to engage the people through Town Hall meetings and other means available to them to effect positive change of mindset, from that of confrontation and destruction of public properties to that of protecting public facilities and taking ownership of projects in their domain.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo, who was represented by the Director Community, Development and Education, Mr. Sabo Adamu, re-affirmed the commitment of the Federal Government towards the development of the people of the Niger Delta region assuring that with the cooperation of the people, the region will move forward.
He emphasized that the essence of the programme amongst others is to enhance the capacity of stakeholders for competent and responsible democratic participation and civil engagements and to train Community members to promote positive and wholesome values in their respective communities in the Niger Delta region; adding that much would be achieved in the region with the support of the stakeholders.