Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Engr Abubakar Momoh having a handshake with Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno. (Credit: Facebook – Akwa Ibom State government media)

By Tony Udoh

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno has advocated periodic meetings between the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and Governors of the Niger Delta states to enhance effective and efficient collaboration.

Governor Eno made the call when he hosted the management of the Ministry led by the Minister, Engr. Abubakar Momoh at the Government House, Uyo.

He appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his inclusive approach to governance and the appointment of a minister for the Niger Delta, adding that the desired development in the region would not be achieved without effective synergy.

The Governor also appreciated the Minister for visiting the state within a few weeks of assuming office, saying that Akwa Ibom is the leading oil producing state in the country, countributing good percentage of the national revenue but without commensurate Federal Government presence.

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Pastor Umo Eno decried situations where the Ministry and NDDC would execute projects in states without the knowledge of the governor, adding that such efforts were counterproductive.

He noted that the activities of the Ministry ranging from Agricultural development, security management, infrastructural maintenance, and rural development were in sync with the ARISE Agenda of the state government, stressing that a collaborative engagement was imperative to reduce development deficit in the region.

Earlier in his remarks, the Minister said that the Niger Delta region has a common problem of security and infrastructural backwardness adding that it was worrisome and unfortunate that the economic nerve centre of the country was inaccessible due to huge infrastructural decay and years of neglect.

He noted with sadness that the East -West Road which was awarded many years ago under the Obasanjo- led administration, was yet to be completed stressing that with the collaboration of states in the region, most of the challenges will be surmounted.

The Minister stated that the visit was aimed at fostering a partnership with the Akwa Ibom State government as well as others in the region to establish an effective and efficient working relationship.

He appreciated the Governor and his team which included Deputy Governor, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, Secretary to the State Government – Prince Enobong Uwah, Head of Service – Elder Effiong Essien, commissioners and others for the warm reception, and assured everyone that greater days lie ahead for the region.