By Chris Udochukwu
Abuja (Precise Post) – The minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio has expressed sadness over the level of development for the region and its youths, saying it is a sad thing that the region has not witnessed a level of development commensurate with the funds that have been spent by the Niger Delta Ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission since they were set up.
Akpabio who disclosed this on Friday, said that the Niger Delta Region must ‘forge a bond of peace’ for true development to occur.
He made the call while receiving party leaders under the aegis of Niger Delta APC Youth Leaders at the Ministry of Niger Delta on Friday.
At the meeting, the Youth Leaders expressed their support for the Minister’s efforts to transform the region into a potent economic hub in the country through targeted infrastructural and human development projects.
The South South APC Zonal Youth Leader, Engr. Gabriel Iduseri, who led the delegation said: “We are here not just for a courtesy visit but we are here also to inform you that we appreciate what you are doing. The Youths of the South South, South West and South East states of Niger Delta laud your plans and projects for the region and we are ready to promptly queue up behind you anytime we are called upon to do so.
“Apart from the many ongoing infrastructural projects facilitated in the region by Niger Delta Ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission for which we are grateful, it is also important to ramp up youth development programmes in the zone for
empowerment and to propagate the Next Level agenda among youths.”
Also speaking, State Youth Leader of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Comrade Olutayo Babalola hailed the Niger Delta Minister for ‘doing a great job’.
Olutayo’s said: “Our Minister here is doing a great job for which
we must unreservedly commend him. This job is not for ordinary men but can only be handled by indefatigable men with boundless energy.
“The fact that the Minister is still in office at this very late hour shows clearly his commitment to hardwork and performance. Ondo APC Youths are impressed and will support him when necessary. We will also appreciate specific programmes from the Niger Delta Development Commission to help empower Ondo youths.”
Responding, the Minister pledged to ramp up youth focused projects in the Niger Delta zone and called for cooperation from the Party Youth Leaders.
He said: “The Niger Delta is dear to me and I am here to ensure the highest levels of development for the region and its youths. It is a sad thing that the region has not witnessed a level of development commensurate with the funds that have been spent by the Niger Delta Ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission since they were set up.
“Niger Deltans still move around in canoes and on bicycles while those who were in charge of this Ministry and the NDDC flew in personal private jets. With the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari, I am working to ensure that Niger Delta people see tangible results in this new Next Level era. This is also why we are rejuvenating the NDDC through the forensic audit. We expect the new NDDC headquarters to be ready within three months and that will free up more funds to be invested in development prgrammes for youths and other disadvantaged groups in the region,” Akpabio said.
Also, the Minister said: “We must forge a bond of peace across the Niger Delta by doing the right thing as that isthe only way to ensure speedy development. I also urge you young people to insist on due process even if immediate outcomes appear not to be in your favour. I believe in the youths and I believe also that there are leadership potentials in every young person. I will do my utmost to nurture your potentials.”