NIGER DELTA 2017 MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT ON SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION:
- The ASSOCIATION OF NIGER DELTA MEDICAL DOCTORS (ANDMD)held its NIGER DELTA MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT ON SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION on 10th-11th November, 2017 at the Jevinik Events Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers state,Nigeria.
- The Summit was attended by hundreds of Major Stakeholders from the nine states of the Niger Delta (Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, AkwaIbom, Cross River,Abia, Imo, Ondo and Edo), and friends of the region: Government officials, key players from the private sector, Lawmakers, Local Government representatives, Medical doctors, including many distinguished Professors, various professional bodies, interest groups, medical students and members of the general public.
- The 2-day summit was chaired by a highly distinguished ICON of the medical profession, Professor Rowland Ndoma-Egba, the immediate past Chairman of the Governing Council of ObafemiAwolowo University, Ile Ife (2013-2016), and past Chief Medical Director/CEO of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (1995-2003).
- The summit was declared open by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, of the host state (Rivers), with the active participation of Dr.SylvanusOjum, who is the Director of Special Programmes and Projects, Rivers State’s Ministry of Health.
- Ten resource persons delivered key-note addresses, namely:
Professor Rowland Ndoma-Egba, Professor OwunariGeorgewill, Professor Emmanuel Ekanem, Professor E. Osim,
Professor OnyayeKunle-Olowu, Professor P.J.Alagoa,
Chief. Dr. Chris Ekiyor, Dr. Stanley Ogounand
Dr. Douglas. K.O.Pepple.
- The Summit applauded the ANDMD and its leadership for this great initiative, organizing the NIGER DELTA 2017 MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT FOR SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION, where over 1000 Major Stakeholders and Friends of the region were assembled. The participants x-rayed the numerous problems confronting the nearly 40 million people of the oil-rich Niger Delta Region of Nigeria in the past 6 decades (from 1957 when oil was first discovered in Nigeria, to date), proffered lasting solutions and drew up action plan.
ANDMD, probably the most well-organizedNon-Governmental and Apolitical Organization (NGO) in theNiger Delta Region of Nigeria, established in 2006, and registered by CAC in 2007, In 2015 and 2016, successfully established functional ANDMD Directorates in all the nine states of the Niger Delta, with highly dedicated, well-disciplined and hard-working membership of over four thousand medical doctors, 15 of whom are renownedProfessors of medicine who are working tirelessly to calm down the situation in the Niger Delta to achieve the following:
- To bring about lasting peace.
- Security and hope.
- Create enabling environment for economic growth and sustained regional development.
- And promote the healthand well-being of the people of this oil-rich region of our dear country Nigeria.
After the paper presentations by the resource persons and the extensive deliberation on various aspects of life in the Niger Delta Region of our dear country Nigeria, the following problems were identified:
The Niger Delta: Problems and Agitations:
- That the 6-decade old oil exploration and industry in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, the profound environmental degradation these have caused, depriving the people of their means of livelihood (farming, fishing etc.), coupled with the highly embarrassing under-development of this oil-rich region of ournation, the near-absence of real opportunities especially for the youths (education, employment etc.) have caused great displeasure; fuelling sustained agitations.
- The deep-seated poverty of the people (having lost their means of livelihood) and the inability of families to adequately provide for their children; the increasing prevalence of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in the region, and the high mortality rates among the adults and children, as drugs and hospitaltreatment for the sick have become unaffordable, communities now witness several burials of their dead relatives almost every weekend. All these have fuelled loud agitations; the people demanding greater attention for the 40million Niger Delta people and their communities.
- In expressing their deep frustration, some youths have become a militant force, blowing up oil-pipe lines and engaging in activities that cause profound insecurity in the region,greatly depressing the economy of the nation, the world at largeand threatening national unity.
- Militancy and profound insecurityhave forced multinational companies to re-locate their headquarters to Lagos, thereby denying the people job opportunities; and the nine Niger Delta States, losing revenue; and this has fuelled more agitations.
Foreign investors, for years now, have avoided doing business in the Niger Delta Region, because of the insecurity.
The situation in the Niger Delta is rapidly deteriorating and requires immediate attention.
- Now the frustrated youths from the Niger Delta,misled by recruiting agents with promises of better life, are increasingly undertaking the most dangerous trips to Europe, through the Sahara desert (where many are raped, abused or killed) into Libya (where they are mercilessly abused, killed or sold into slavery or recruited by terrorist gangs etc.) and across the Mediterranean sea (where several thousands have died by drowning); even those that make it to Europe have no future, as they are uneducated and unskilled. Recently 26 Nigerian girls died at sea while attempting to migrate to Europe.ANDMD has joined the campaign asking the youths to stop these suicidal trips to Europe; advising them to remain in Nigeria, because Nigeria is their home. You are safer living in Nigeria where you have your community, family and friends from childhood; if you want to migrate, do it the official way; by applying to the embassy or the country of your choice. If your application is not successful, stay in Nigeria.
- Oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta are all under-developed, and lack basic amenities: no potable water (drinking water from highly contaminated sources); no electricity; lack infrastructure; no good roads; schools and health facilities in deplorable conditions. The people feel marginalized and abandoned.
Specifically, the SUMMIT NOTED WITH DEEP CONCERN that despite the numerous Interventions (which have not yet yielded the desired effects) by governments andits agencies, and by oil companies which are targeted at addressing the challenges confronting the Niger Delta, the situation remains desperate.
Listed below are some of the key challenges the people face, which haveresulted in the continued agitations from the region:
Unemployment and Poverty:
- Totally unacceptable level of unemployment, especially of youths; absence of high-impact youth development and empowerment programs; lack of education opportunities for most youths; no active job creating programs in the region.
- High level of poverty in the region, families are unable to cater for their children; no serious family/community development and empowerment programs in the entire region.
- Lack ofactive job creation and poverty alleviation policies and programs, in the Niger Delta Region.
Universities, including medical schools in the Niger Delta lack the required infrastructure, funding, adequate teaching staff (most staff are borrowed) and well equipped laboratories. There is also high rate of student dropouts, caused by ever increasing cost of education which has become unaffordable for children of the poor. Many universities are faced with accreditation problems.
There is no legislation at state levels to make it compulsory for all children of both sexes to obtain at least a minimum of secondary education, and sanction parents who default.
- Many girl children are denied education by their parents and are forced into early marriage; giving birth to children at very young ages, resulting to high teenage pregnancy rate in the region.
- Instead of going to school the girl child is forced to hawk goods in the street, where she is tempted, sexually abused, contacts diseases and gets pregnant; gets abducted, trafficked and forced into prostitution abroad or sold into slavery and possibly gets killed. Niger Delta lacks high-impact girl child development and empowerment policies and programs.
- Low school enrolment and high school dropouts, especially among girls in the region.
Mother and child:
Poor maternal and child indices that are worse than those of most other geopolitical zones in the country.
Mother and child face countless challenges in the Niger Delta.
Their issues are not adequately addressed and there is no single mother and child hospital in the entire region. The high rate of mother and child mortality in the region is becoming extremely embarrassing, especially from preventable causes. There are no mother and child development, welfare and empowerment programs in the Niger Delta.
Healthcare and Training
- The health care delivery system of the region requires total overhaul; quality of services of most teaching hospitals and other tertiary hospitals in the region is far below expectation, due to poor funding, poor staffing, lack of infrastructure, non-functional equipment, poor environment for teaching and research, non-functional laboratories and accreditation problems etc.; paucity of well-equipped medical centres and adequately qualified personnel to train medical manpower in the region.
- Weak referral systems in the health services of the region.
- Healthcare (drugs and hospital care) has become unaffordable for millions of the Niger Delta people; people now die also from preventable causes; patients are abandoned in hospitals by their relatives because they cannot afford the prescribed drugs or pay for the hospital care etc.
- Many hypertensive and diabetic patients now die prematurely because they can no longer afford the increasing cost of the prescribed life-saving drugs.
- Training of both medical students and specialist doctors in the teaching hospitals in the region has suffered tremendous set back, because of the falling standards of the hospitals.
In recent times, the absence of job satisfaction and unpaid salaries resulted in thousands of Nigerian doctors resigning and leaving the country for jobs abroad.
- Medical doctors after graduation now wait 2-5years to get placement for internship, and until they do internship they cannot practice or go for national service or get admitted to specialist training programs. The situation is extremely frustrating for these young medical doctors. State Governments in the region need to intervene urgently to save the situation.
- In the entire region there is not even one World-Class Medical Centre of Excellence; and no University of Medical Sciences.
- In recent years, university education has become very expensive, many cannot afford; many drop out, especially those from poor families. Universities are increasing tuition and hostel fees; upkeep allowance is no longer adequate in a depressed economy; the situation is becoming unbearable for the students and their families.
- The fewavailable scholarship are usually grabbed by highly connected parents who can afford the fees; many indigent students stand no chance because they know no one; there is urgent need for a scholarship scheme that favours indigent university students in the Niger Delta.
- The oil industry and oil spillage have heavily polluted the water ways and water supply and the farm lands; this has denied the people their main sources of livelihood (farming and fishing).
- The air pollution/gas flaring have significantly increased the prevalence of certain diseases in the region (cancer, respiratory diseases etc.), and children and pregnant women are the worst hit/victims.
- Annually most states of the Niger Delta are flooded, causing massive destruction of properties, homes and loss of lives. Unfortunately, the states so affected do not have the capacity to prevent and control this natural disaster.
After 2 days of exhaustive deliberations, the participants at the NIGER DELTA 2017 MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT ON SPECIAL INTERVENTION FOR THE NIGER DELTA REGION resolved as follows:
- That the NIGER DELTA SUMMIT ON SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION be held annually, with ANDMD as the convener, towards the achievement of the aims and objectives of this Special Niger Delta Project.
- The summit fully appreciates the reasons for the 60-year old agitations of the Niger Delta people drawing attention to their plight; and strongly believes that these agitations can only stop when the problems of the region are adequately addressed in a comprehensive manner, using a set of appropriate intervention programs.
- That the ANDMD and the two Boards the summit specifically created for the effective management of the Special Intervention Programs for the region are hereby mandated toimmediatelymobilize all stakeholders and invite their active participation in this comprehensive Niger Delta Initiative aimed at addressing the problems of the region, and bring about its rapid development.
The Major Stakeholders whose support we seek includes:
- The Federal Government of Nigeria ( President of Nigeria, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and all Federal Lawmakers, Ministers, Federal Government agencies) and all State Governments outside the Niger Delta and friends of the Niger Delta people.
- At Niger Delta level: All states governors/governments of the nine states of the Niger Delta; all office holders; all government officials; speakers and all the states lawmakers, LGA chairmen of the region; the private sector; multi-national companies, including oil companies, professional bodies, NGOs and other interest groups;
- The International Community: United Nations and its Agencies; the World Bank; World Health Organization; United States of America; EU Countries; Russia, United Kingdom; Canada; Australia; countries of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America; multi-national companies doing business in the Niger Delta and donor organizations.
- That we should approach the Niger Delta people with well-thought-out, People-Friendly Special Intervention Programs whichwhen fully executed in each of the nine states of the Niger Delta, not by corrupt officials, not with a military force, and not negatively affected by change of Governments,will definitely bring about a new meaning to the lives of the nearly 40million people of the Niger Delta Region.
- That the Special Intervention Programs are aimed to adequately address the problems of the Niger Delta, which will calm down the situation, strengthen national unity, and create the enabling secured environment that will encourage multi-national companies to return to the region, guarantee in-flow of foreign investments, create job opportunities for our youths, and take the country back to the path of sustained economic growth, prosperity and peace.
- That,to effectively address the numerous challenges facing the people of the Niger Delta, THE NIGER DELTA 2017 MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT ON SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION, after extensive deliberations, approved the following Special Intervention Programs for the Niger Delta:
- Niger Delta Youth Development and Empowerment Special Intervention Programs.
- Niger Delta Girl Child Development, Education and Empowerment Special Intervention Programs.
- Niger Delta Mother and Child Development, Healthcare, Welfare and Empowerment Special Intervention Programs.
- Niger Delta Disease Control, Prevention, and Promotion of Public Health Special Intervention Programs.
- Niger Delta Special Intervention Programs for Teaching Hospitals and other tertiary hospitals in the region.
- Niger Delta Family/Community Development and Empowerment Special Intervention Programs.
- Special Intervention Programs for Regional Cooperation and high-impact Development in the Niger Delta.
- Niger Delta Special Intervention Programs for the immediate Establishment of a World-class “NIGER DELTA MEDICAL SCIENCES UNIVERSITY” which could be named after Isaac Adaka-Boro; and SPECIAL CENTRES OF MEDICAL EXCELLENCEin the region.
- Niger Delta Special Intervention Scholarship Scheme for Indigent University Students of the region.
- Niger Delta Job Creation and Poverty alleviation Special Intervention Programs.
- Special Intervention Program for the Development of Effective Healthcare Delivery and Support Systems for the Local Governments of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
- Special Intervention Programs/Projects for the Development and Building of a Mega World-Class City (“DELTA CITY”) for the Niger Delta; that will be jointly developed and owned by the core six Niger Delta States of Nigeria;with the active support of major multi-national companies, when completed, the headquarters of the oil companies etc.doing business in the region can be moved from Lagos and Abuja to the “DELTA CITY”; and also serve as the headquarters of a regional government in a New Reconstructed Nigeria.
- Niger Delta Special Intervention Programs for the promotion of Research and Innovations and Utilization of these and available Technology to rapidly develop and effectively tackle the challenges of the region.
- Niger Delta Special Intervention Programs for the Promotion of high-impact farming and fishing in the region.
- Niger Delta Special Intervention Programs on protection of the environment, combating effects of climate change and flooding in the region.
- That the Summit approved the immediate establishment of a BOARD OF TRUSTEES and a BOARD OF MANAGEMENT for the NIGER DELTA SPECIAL INTERVENTIONPROGRAMS. The Boards will oversee and manage theexecution of all the Special Intervention Programs in all the nine states of the Niger Delta; they will address the problems of the region and work to bring a new meaning to the lives of millions of people in the Niger Delta Region of our dear country,Nigeria.
- That Professor Rowland Ndoma-Egba and Chris Ekiyorare hereby appointed as the CHAIRMAN AND SECRETARY (respectively) of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES for the Niger Delta Special Intervention Programs; with immediate effect;
That Professor KobinaKeme-EbiImananagha, the ANDMD President General, is appointed as the CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT for the Niger Delta Special Intervention Programs, with immediate effect;
That the full list of membership of both Boards be published after wide consultation.
- That a SPECIAL COMMITTEE FOR ANNUAL AWARDS, be constituted for the purpose of recognizing and honouring Niger Deltans (including Governments) and friends of the region who made significant contributions to the development of the Niger Delta Region, or positively touched the lives of our people or excelled in the working place or sponsored the Special Intervention Programmes.
- It is time to peacefully end the 60-year old agitation of the Niger Delta people; this can only happen when the problems of the region are adequately addressed, to the satisfaction of the aggrieved people. We strongly believe that the implementation of the specially designed 15 Intervention Programmes across the nine states of the region will bring new meaning to the lives of 40 million Niger Deltans. It will lead to rapid regional development, and the return of foreign investments and multi-national companies; youths, families and communities will enjoy job opportunities etc. All these will put the country back to the path of growth, prosperity and national unity.
- This the government alone cannot do, that is why in this New Niger Delta Initiative, we are calling on all the Major Stakeholders (Federal and state Governments, all Niger Delta people in position of authority, the private sector, the International community, and all interest groups) to join us, actively support and participate in this new effort. Let us pull all our resources together towards a successful implementation of the Special Intervention Programs. This is a task that we must do. Let us without hesitation answer to this special call to duty, and put smiles on the faces of our Niger Delta people.
- For the Niger Deltan Stakeholders, please remember this: “OUR FATE IS IN OUR HANDS”, “Charity begins at home”.We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Let us get actively involved in this new Niger Delta Project; think less of ourselves or of our villages; think more of what we can do for our states and the entire Niger Delta Region of our dear country, Nigeria. This is a special call to duty, we cannot ignore it, and we must not ignore this call.Times are hard, but we can still put in our very best, and collectively we can do great things for the Niger Delta people.
YES WE CAN!
- Join the Niger Delta Special Project today; let us make the implementation of the “NIGER DELTA MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION” a huge success and bring lasting peace to Niger Delta.
- CONTACT US: firstname.lastname@example.org; P.O.Box 1109 Yenagoa, Bayelsa State; 08036715656;
Professor Kobina. K. Imananagha,
Association of Niger Delta
Medical Doctors (ANDMD)
The NGO, the Convener of the Summit
- CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF TRUSTEES, NIGER DELTA SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION, PROFESSOR ROWLAND NDOMA –EGBAis:
- Highly distinguished ICON of the Medical Profession.
- A Professor of Surgery.
- Chief Consultant Surgeon.
- Former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, ObafemiAwolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife. (2013-2016).
- Past Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar (for 8 years).
- Past Chairman Advisory Committee (CMAC), and Director of Clinical Services, UCTH, Calabar(4 years).
- Past Chairman, Ministerial Special Committee on Review of Residency (post-graduate) Training in Nigeria (2010).
- Past member, Presidential Project Implementation Committee on the FGN/VAMCD Project on upgrading of Federal Teaching Hospitals (2003-2016).
- Trained in Nigeria, Europe, USA and India.
- A Philanthropist.
- THE CHAIRMAN OF BOARD OF MANAGEMENT OF THE NIGER DELTA SPECIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS FOR THE REGION
PROFESSOR KOBINA KEME-EBIIMANANAGHAis:
- President General of the NGO, the Association of Niger Delta Medical Doctors of Nigeria.
- Former Honourable Commissioner for Health, BayelsaState Nigeria.
- Former Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of a Federal Hospital (FMC, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria).
- Former Provost, College of Medical Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
- A Professor of Medicine/Consultant Neurologist.
- A Philanthropist.
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR ATTENTION!!!