The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has solicited the support of governors of the nine states in the Niger Delta region as part of the ministry's sensitisation efforts towards the forthcoming stakeholders' conference.
Orubebe, who spoke when he was received by the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Effiok Cobhan, on behalf of Governor Liyel Imoke, said the plan to visit the nine governors of the Niger Delta states was to solicit their support and cooperation towards the success of the conference and maiden National Council on Niger Delta slated for April 21 and 26.
A statement from the ministry's Deputy Director (Press), Mr. Fidelis Osammor, quoted Orubebe as recalling that from 1958 when oil was first discovered in the region, there had been various programmes, and committee, among others geared towards addressing the enormous challenges confronting the region as a result of oil exploration activities and their attendant socio-economic and environmental issues.
He noted that all the solutions did not yield the required result due to lack of coordinated efforts towards finding a lasting solutions to the myriad of problems confronting the region.
The minister noted that his ministry, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other development partners carefully developed an all-encompassing Niger Delta Action Plan to enable the ministry pool resources and coordinate all efforts towards a speedy achievement of the Niger Delta.
He added that the idea was to set up a basket of funds for which stakeholders would contribute since it has become obvious that the federal government alone cannot fund the anticipated massive development of the region.
In his response, Cobham commended the federal government for its commitment towards putting the right processes and structures in place to achieve the development and progress of the long neglected Niger Delta region through the programmes of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.