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Mr. Sun Sungil, Country Director, KOICA, in a group picture with MNDA Management Team

By Ignatius Ushie

The Overseeing Director in the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Alfred Abah has expressed the readiness of the Ministry to establish closer collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to improve the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region.

This was contained in a statement from the Ministry made available to Transport Day in Abuja, when the Country Director, KOICA, paid him a courtesy visit recently, in his office in Abuja.

Abah explained that the Ministry was created in 2008 as an interventionist agency with the mandate to coordinate all the activities of other development partners, International Oil Companies (IOC) and intergovernmental agencies aimed at fast tracking a seamless development strategy for the region, adding that  the core focus of the Ministry is actually focused on infrastructural development, environmental protection and remediation, coordination of development initiatives, community development and education, economic empowerment and human capital development, as well as maintenance of peace and tranquility in the region.

According to Mr. Abah, the Ministry has been doing a lot in the area of community development and empowerment over the years by initiating and implementing programme that would improve the economic status of the people.

Speaking further, he said the Ministry was ready to collaborate with KOICA to add value to what the Ministry is doing in the Niger Delta region and impact positively on the economy of Nigeria by ensuring peace and improving the quality of life of the people.

Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Son Sungil, the Country Director, representing KOICA applauded the Management team for acquainting him with the activities of the Ministry and challenges confronting the Niger Delta region. He gave the assurance that the Korean Government would help the Ministry achieve its objectives and mandates by keying to its developmental programmes.

He identified two key areas that the agency would like to partner with the Ministry, ICT and Capacity building. “ICT will create millions of job in Education, Healthcare, e-government and digital economy for both government officials and the region”.

According to him, “We will adopt multi sector approaches to tackle unemployment in the region, invest in vocational training, offer scholarships, provide high end equipment for their training to enhance the socio-economic status of the people”, he added.

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