President Jonathan, while inaugurating the 40-member National Council on Niger Delta, weekend, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said the process will create development partners to ensure the transformation of the region.
The proposed MSTF is expected to solve the decades of funding problems faced in the process of developing the region.
Under the arrangement, as contained in the Niger Delta Action Plan, developed by the Ministry, MSTF will mobilise an additional $200 million, about N3.2 billion, as the first tranche of fund.
President Jonathan, represented by his Vice, Mr Namadi Sambo, said the government was committed to pushing forward a new dawn for development in the region.
He said: “This mechanism will assist the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to more effectively coordinate development resources from different stakeholders to achieve the intended objectives.
“Today’s event marks one in the series of efforts by the Federal Government to consolidate and reaffirm all commitments to the people of the Niger Delta, made within the framework of the amnesty programme in 2010.
“We must now capitalise on the prevailing peace framework in the region to push forward a new dawn in the region. When we work together, we are better able to unleash our creative potentials in optimising our huge human and natural resources for the stability and prosperity of the Niger Delta, and the good and progress of our people.
“We consider it a priority to sustain the consolidation of the current security situation in order to deepen the very foundations of durable and mutually beneficial peace. This is achievable if we forthrightly, and with articulation, address the development challenges and neglect of the people.”
*Chris Ochayi, Vanguard