By Mariam Humbe
The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is to partner with Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in the development of infrastructure, provision of health facilities and employment creation in the Niger Delta Region.
The Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, CON, said this when the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Commission Engr. Chidi Izuwah paid a courtesy call to the Ministry on Thursday, 10th October, 2019 in Abuja.
According to Senator Akpabio, the collaboration will chart a new future for the region and ensure that the Niger Delta youths do not go back to the Creeks. Adding that it will also help in the reconstruction of accessible roads in the region.
The Minister noted that Water Hyacinth has brought a great menace to the people of Niger Delta by killing their aquatic lives, increasing poverty in the region and making it impossible for vessels to navigate the water ways. He added that it has also affected the Education and Security of the region.
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of State, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura said that the Government need the expertise of the private sector apart from their money as there is nowhere government can provide everything expected in the society. He also charged the Commission to identify different areas they can explore for the development of the Niger Delta region and take the lead by bringing all the stakeholders together to chart the way forward.
Speaking further, he said the infrastructural decay is not peculiar to the Niger Delta Region alone adding that the Ministry is ready to cooperate with the Commission to ensure that the people of the Niger Delta Region have good infrastructure, education, and conducive environment to engage in their daily economic and fishing activities.
Earlier the Director-General/CEO of (ICRC) Engr. Chidi Izuwah, said that the Commission is proposing a summit on revolutionizing infrastructure delivery in the Niger Delta region through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) which should be convened by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in collaboration with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the (ICRC) to showcase and highlight to investors, financiers and development actors the critical infrastructure value chain opportunities in the region.
According to the (ICRC) Director-General, “addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure challenges will require sustained expenditure of over US$30 billion per year over the next decade, or about 12 percent of GDP”. He added that about US$15 billion is needed for Federal infrastructure alone, most of it for capital spending and power.
“Given the huge amounts needed and the drive necessary for development, the Nigerian Government does not have the requisite resources to achieve this on its own and has thus among other options embarked upon the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), for the infrastructural development. He added.