The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has stated that the declining yearly budget of the ministry was negatively impacting its activities, stressing that the development was preventing it from delivering its mandate to the people of the region.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo, stated this when he met with the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli, and her team, who paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja, recently.
According to Ardo, since the ministry’s inception in 2009, its budget has been in decline whereas the needs of the people of the region keep rising.
He added that a longer period of the rainy season and environmental disasters were also contributing to poor project execution in the area by the ministry.
He said: “The mandate of the ministry is to formulate, execute and coordinate plans, programmes, and other initiatives to fast track the development of the Niger Delta region. The engagement between the ministry and the SERVICOM office would help the ministry to get stronger and better in its service delivery.”
Ardo, who commended SERVICOM for helping to drive service delivery nationwide, said the ministry has made giant strides in its 12 years of existence, adding: “The interface between the ministry and the clients are done with a view to providing an institutional framework for driving reform activities in the ministry to attain its mandate.”
Babayo explained that in the area of service delivery, the Reform Coordination and Service Innovation Department has been undergoing repositioning since 2019 in order to strengthen the ministry’s service delivery system.
On the issue of militancy, the Permanent Secretary said: “The Ministry is engaging the youths and stakeholders through community development education and empowerment programmes geared towards uplifting the lives of the people of the region.
“The completion and inauguration of the multi-billion naira newly completed office complex of the NDDC shows that the ministry is determined to work and see to the rejigging and repositioning of the NDDC.”
In her response, Akajemeli said the ministry could do more in the area of sensitisation
“The ministry should always give out information to the citizens and stakeholders so that they would be able to understand some of these tough decisions, tough scenarios that it has to cope with. A lot of work can be done around consultation.
“We can do advocacy using the SERVICOM platform to get feedbacks, customer’s perception and engagements to know what their priorities are,” she said.