PERMANENT Secretary,
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs,
Mrs. Fatima Bamidele, has said
lack of funds was responsible
for the ministry’s inability to
fulfil its mandate to people of
the Niger Delta region.
Bamidele, who spoke to State
House Correspondents after
briefing President Muhammadu
Buhari on the status of the
ministry, said the ministry had
not received any capital per
head since August, 2014.
She added that the situation
had stalled a lot of projects.
She said her and members
of her delegation appealed to
the President to assist them
in sourcing for funds for the
ministry’s projects.
“I came in from the Ministry
of Niger Delta on the directive
of the President to brief him on
the activities of our ministry,
mandate, vision, mission,
activities, challenges and what
we will like His Excellency to
look into.
“Such challenges include
funding. Since August 2014, we
have not received any capital per
head up till today. So, a lot of our
projects are being stalled and
we don’t want abandonment of
“So, we ask that funding can
be sourced for the ministry’s
Bamidele also said she briefed
the President on the progress so
far recorded on the East-West
Road which he said was 88.4 per
cent completed.
She said the road had increased
the economic activities in the
area by opening up the place to
various commercial activities.
She added that about 250
housing units had been
completed out of the 400 units.
According to her, there were
a number of projects waiting
to take off again once money is
She said although the ministry
had been receiving budgets,
releases from federal coffers had
been limited to between 48 and
50 per cent since 2012 leading
to the accumulation of liabilities
for her ministry and others.
“We have done quite a
number of things. Our mandate
is first to ensure the economic
empowerment of the people.
This we have done through
the empowerment of women
and youth in the Niger Delta.
We have trained at least 4,000
people in agriculture, maritime
activities and ICT.
“Part of our mandate also is
to ensure we have peace in the
region and to reduce militancy
and restiveness amongst the
youth. This we have to do
through town hall meetings and
sensitisation meetings with the
people in the area.
“We talked to them and
convinced them on the need to
work together with the Federal
Government to empower the
area and develop the area,” she
Bamidele said her team got the
President’s assurances that he
would look into their case.
On the clamour for the merger
of some ministries, she said the
decision was the prerogative of
the government.
“The future of the ministry
was not discussed with the
President; we only discussed
issues of the ministry and its
mandate. We also gave him
figures of things the ministry
is expected to have done and
percentages of what has been
achieved. It is government’s
prerogative to take any action on
the future of the ministry, we as
civil servants will just comply,”
she concluded

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