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N’Delta Youth Must Create Peace For Dev …As Akpabio Heads NDDC Monitoring Panel

The Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, is the chairman of the 11-member Monitoring Committee for the Niger Delta Development Commission. .

A  statement by Buhari’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, read partly, “Members of the committee are Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Chairman; Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura; and Olusola Adesola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Other members are Mr Shamsuddin Bello, representing the office of the Accountant General of the Federation; Mr Charles Ikeah, representative of the Federal Ministry of Environment; Atanda Kolawole Musiliu, representing Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Ms Aisha Umar, representing Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Dr M.K. Mohammed, representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; Dr Dorothy Nwodo, representing the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; while Mr Alfred Abah, a Director in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, is member/secretary.”

Meanwhile the new acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, has charged Niger Delta youths to create a peaceful environment for development in the region.

Prof Pondei addressed the youths at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt in the company of the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang and the Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer commended the youths for organizing themselves in an orderly manner and collapsing all the different youth groups into one. He stressed: “The youths are the strength of any nation and if you get it right with them, you have the nation on the right path.”

Prof Pondei re-stated the commitment of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, to engage the youths and all the stakeholders in the Niger Delta region in its programmes.

He noted: “We have a running programme with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, which will bring a lot of money to boost agriculture.We want our youths and women to organize themselves into cooperatives so that they can easily access the programmes of the NDDC.”

The NDDC boss said that the youths would be exposed to different trainings to prepare them to benefit maximally from the Commission’s programmes and equip them to be self-employed.

He remarked: “We know that some people have done small contracts for which they are being owed. Hopefully, the National Assembly would have by next week passed the NDDC budget, because, we cannot spend without budgetary approval. When that is done, we will immediately start payments to those that are owed, especially the small ones.I assure you on behalf of the Interim Management Committee that we will do everything possible to make sure that we touch the lives of everybody in the region to make a difference.”

Prof Pondei observed that empowering the people was as important as executing development projects, since, according to him, “the people have to be alive and well to use the projects.”

He warned: “The time of doling out free money is over because that is a waste. The Chinese say that if you give a man fish, you have fed him for the day but if you teach him how to fish, you have fed him for a lifetime. We want our people to have a lifetime means of livelihood.”

He appealed to the youths to be patient with the IMC to get into action, assuring that things would be rolled out as fast as possible.

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