The BRACED Governors
The BRACED Initiative is a policy document and understanding which was agreed and adopted by the six Niger Delta states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta state to foster economic co-operation and infrastructural development in the Niger Delta region.
The BRACED States, therefore, is an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta states.
It was to become an initiative with the attendant Commission established as an umbrella development agency to facilitate the Niger Delta States to foster economic cooperation and prosperity, issues of inter and intra infrastructural development for the region.
Unfortunately, six years after this novel and the visionary concept were established it appears the governors of the region have abandoned the initiative and are now working at crossroads.
A Niger Delta Advocacy group known as The South-South Reawakening Group (SSRG) has taken the six states governors to task over their abandonment of the lofty concept by their nonchalant attitude toward the Initiative. The group is demanding action and collaboration to make the initiative effective and productive.
In a statement issued by the SSRGS convener, Mr. Joseph Ambakederimo “The initiative and overall objective of the initiators could have been fantastic but the implementation of the processes to achieve the core objective have largely been faulty and finds it hardly taken –off the ground.
However, absolutely nothing has been seen or can we pinpoint an iota of any program from the initiators” ”Absolutely nothing has been seen or can we pinpoint an iota of any program from the initiators”
The group submits that the meetings of the governors, under the BRACED Commission, had been turned largely to a social gathering, “which is always the high point of such annual meeting of the commission and it goes on and on year after year without any concrete action plan and implementation”
“In fact the fate and present status of the BRACED Initiative and commission put in place is well unknown and presently in a state of comatose and in an intensive care unit waiting to be pronounced dead and passed on to an undertaker ditto the economic status of the states in the region all with decrepit infrastructure crying for attention, over-bloated workforce because there are no industries to absorb the ready teeming workforce,” it added.
The group, therefore, appealed to the governors making up the BRACED states to urgently revive the initiatives and make it functional so as to achieve the objectives for which it was founded and position it towards the development and prosperity of the region.
SSRGS further advocated collaboration between the BRACED States and the Ministry of Niger Affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the sub-sovereign future fund to undertake mega projects and turn around the Niger Delta states into Eldorado adding “it is doable so far we can conceive the idea. It has happened in other places and it is presently happening in other climes so why not here. (This Article First Appeared in the This day Newspaper)