A two-day technical workshop was conducted in Abuja from February 23 - 24, 2016 with the objectives to: 1) highlight the policy priority areas for the Niger Delta, 2) confirm commitment to collaborate on a joint policy response, 3) outline the next steps to develop and implementation of a joint framework for sustainable development, and 4) identify areas for synergy with the private sector and development partners. The technical workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission, Presidential Amnesty Programme, and the Federal Ministry of Environment with support from development partners working in the Niger Delta -- PIND, NSRP, SDN, FOSTER, and Nextier Advisory. The technical workshop Twitter hashtag for the event was .
The first day of the two-day technical workshop kicked off on-time with a brief overview of expectations of the workshop and outlining key objectives to be met.
Honorable Uguru Usani, Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs keynoted the workshop and spoke on the topic of "From Sustainability to Sustainable Development." However, his speech was a sobering reflection of realities on the ground, with misconceptions about what the MNDA is supposed to be doing against what it has been able to achieve thus far, and urging all key stakeholders in the region to reaffirm their "purpose" for development for the region and to come together for a common purpose.
Honorable Usani's speech was quickly followed by a short presentation by Honorable Hajiya Amina Mohammed, Minister of the Environment. She spoke of the need to lay down proper foundations, systems, and ensuring an enabling environment to address the multiple challenges and issues facing the region, including security, corruption, good governance, and the rule of law, and the need to refocus effort on the UNEP report. In looking forward to a more sustainable region, she also cautioned on the need to look back to address and to understand what exactly went wrong with all the various development plans and resources previously allocated to the region.