The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has agreed with the observations of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), that transparency which was hirtherto missing in the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has now been instilled, courtesy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s support to the ongoing efforts to reposition the Commission to fulfill its mandate to the people.
The Minister stated this when a delegation of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) led by the National President, Elder Bolaji Anani paid him a courtesy visit on Monday 12 October, 2020 in Abuja.
Sen. Akpabio said that, the Organisation has done a lot since its establishment in Nigeria in 1960, noting that the presence and remarkable activities of the Red Cross have not only been felt in the Niger Delta region, but in Nigeria and across the globe.
He commended the laudable initiatives of the founders of the Red Cross Society and pray that the souls of those who have been killed in the cause of rendering humanitarian services towards ensuring the upliftment of life and bringing succor to many families would rest in peace.
Speaking on the entreaties made to the Ministry, the Minister said, “I have always adopted the Red Cross policies and action in governance, today more than ever, we need your partnership and collaboration because of flood and other challenges in the region.
“Therefore, I will take up the few request you have made to the Ministry with the Permanent Secretary, look at ways the Ministry can assist the society to do a better job for us in the Niger Delta region and also consider assigning a liaison officer who would be the focal person in the Ministry to interface with your organization, so that we can have a workable partnership with the resources available”, he said.
The Minister commended Mr. President for being able to manage the economy and seeing Nigerians through the harsh economic realities of the Covid-19 Pandemic and applauded recent decisions of the administration to remove fuel subsidy that was taking more than two third resources of the country, a decision that previous administration could not address.
According to Sen. Akpabio, the resources realized from the subsidy policy would now be channeled towards developing infrastructures, encouraging partnership with international communities and the private sector to create employment opportunities for the citizens.
Earlier, the National President, Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Elder Bolaji Anani, commended the Minister for entrenching transparency and accountability in the NDDC, stating that the Mission of NRCS is to support those in need as a result of Disaster, Diseases, Displacement, Dehumanizing experiences in peace and armed conflict times.
Anani stated that having realized that NRCS have similar mission with the Ministry and NDDC, the group seek to collaborate with them in order to increase the impact and scope of NRCS within the Niger Delta and the Nation at large.
The President stated that, NRCS believes that the support from MNDA and NDDC through establishing sustainable partnership would enable them to provide First Aid and Disaster Risk Reduction training, provide regular reports of their activities within the region. He therefore requests that MNDA and NDDC provide NRCS with Grants and Ambulances to expand their services.