Abia State has won a capital bid to fund its long-term strategic development plans for 2019.This follows a presentation by Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, and Ondo at the Niger Delta Development Forum (NDDF) states Pitch Development Plan competition on, “delivering results: implementing a state-led plan,” on their long-term development planning process in which Abia won technical support from the development partners for the development of its development plans in 2019.
The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), is a Nigerian non-profit organisation established by Chevron Corporation in 2010, to build partnerships and peace for equitable economic development in the Niger Delta.
To this end, PIND has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Abia State Government at the Government House, Umuahia, during an advocacy visit by PIND team in company of its other development partners that included the European Union (EU), Niger Delta Support Programme 4, and BugIT.
Speaking during the advocacy visit, the PIND Partnership and Engagement Manager, Chime Asonye, who led his team, said: “PIND’s support will help Abia to develop a long-term strategic vision to enable Abia leverage their areas of competitiveness in delivering inclusive governance and sustainability to their people.”
He said by signing this MoU in the presence of the State Deputy Governor, Ude Oko Chukwu, the Secretary to the State Government and other key stakeholders, Abia has demonstrated a commitment to the development plan. This indicates “a process will be facilitated through the provision of technical, organisational, strategic support and leadership to enable the plan be created through a participatory process incorporating all sectors.
“Additionally, a high level team comprising relevant State Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), civil society, development partners and professional groups, will be assembled to help provide input and expertise to the exercise, hence the long-term development planning was identified as a solution to begin to address the underlying issues of economic stagnation and conflict in the Niger Delta.”In his remarks, Chukwu said Abia was elated by its choice for the PIND support that will enable the state develop its long-term plans and projects that will benefit the indigenes.