The Minister of Niger Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, is to hold a crucial meeting with key stakeholders in the oil-rich Niger Delta next week.

Those billed to meet with the minister on the issue of the region's development are the governors of the nine Niger Delta states, representatives of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the multinational oil firms operating in the region.

A Deputy Head of Press of the ministry, Mr. Samuel Osammor, made the disclosure in an electronic mail sent to our correspondent on Thursday. He quoted Orubebe as having made the comment during a meeting with the members of staff of the ministry in Abuja.

Orubebe said that the cooperation of the stated organs was crucial to the desire of the ministry to effectively develop the region.

According to Osammor, the minister also said that the ministry under his leadership would commence the employment of junior cadre personnel. The minister said that deliberate efforts would be made to make the state offices fully functional as they would be reposed with the responsibility of monitoring the ministry's projects in their respective states with periodic reports to Abuja.

He also said that the ministry would unveil its plan of action next week, which would be in line with the seven-point agenda of the Federal Government.

The minister, who urged the workers to contribute their best to the planned development of the region, promised to provide necessary incentives.

Meanwhile, the new Minister of State for Health, Alhaji Suleiman Bello, has solicited the cooperation of the staff of the Federal Ministry of Health to enable him to perform.

The minister, who also emphasised the need for patriotism and collective responsibility as the key to economic success, spoke in Abuja when he resumed on Thursday.

Bello was received by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Linus Awute, who introduced other members of staff and highlighed the programme activities of the ministry.

Awute said the challenges of the ministry were enormous and so much was expected of the staff. he said they were expected to deliver on the framework articulated in the National Strategic Development Plan.

Awute said that great milestones had been achieved in some key deliverable areas, leading to the possible attainment of the Millennium Development Goals with regards to child mortality and morbidity.