Posted by News Express | 19 September 2017 | 2,029 times
Youths from the Niger Delta region under the auspices of Niger Delta Youth Governance Monitoring Group (NDYGMG) have criticised the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for poor outing at the just concluded National Council on Niger Delta held in Akure Ondo between September 7-14.
NDYGMG, in a statement issued by Mr Emmanuel U. Justin, Director of Press Affairs, condemned the disharmony between the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani and stakeholders in the Niger Delta region which resulted to poor attendance at the meeting.
They noted that it was regrettable that the Minister, in connivance with the Country Director of UNDP in Nigeria, Mr Mathew Alao, to oppose the participation of youth leaders who were invited to participate in the meeting.
The youths said that Usain deliberately excluded the youths who form the majority in the Niger Delta region, an indication that he lacked popularity and the interest of the people he is supposed to represent in government.
The group noted that the council’s inability to form the requisite quorum to enable it formulate policy direction to drive the ministry was a clear display of incompetence and hence rendered the whole exercise a nullity and illegal.
“No other Minister from the region, National Assembly member, representative of International Oil Company, or Governor from the region was present at the Akure Council meeting.
“This was a far cry from the inaugural edition which held at Uyo in 2013 which had all the relevant stakeholders that shunned the second edition in attendance,” the youths stated.
It further frowned at comments by the Minister to suggest that the Niger Delta Masterplan developed by seasoned technocrats at great cost and commitment over the years has been jettisoned.
Abandoning the Niger Delta Masterplan for a work plan developed by the Ministry without inputs from the Youths, Women, other Civil Society Organisations and the organised private sector is against the concept continuity in governance.
The group regretted the poor performance of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs under the current Minister and urged the Federal Government to shop for a more competent hand to pilot the affairs of the Ministry.
“NDYGMG therefore calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to rekit his Niger Delta tool box if the federal government is desirous of developing the Niger Delta region,” NDYGMG stated.
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