By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has said that collaborations between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the governments of member states of the region, remains essential ingredient of meaningful development of the area.
Speaking during a courtesy visit on him by the Sole Administrator of the agency, Mr Effiong Akwa, Gov Emmanuel said such collaborations could only work if devoid of politics and politicking.
Emmanuel maintained that the development of the Niger Delta region will be better with the collaborative effort of all stakeholders, as it will take the development needs of each member state into consideration.
“We came into government with a blue print and we have not deviated from it. At every angle we define where we are going to. We walk with definitions; we entered second term we said we have a completion agenda and we are following that agenda religiously. At every point in time, things must walk in line with our blueprint. Even our road networks must follow an economic development pattern.
Narrowing down to Akwa Ibom State, Governor Emmanuel said such collaboration would help further the state government’s Completion Agenda.
He welcomed the gesture of the management of the Niger Delta Commission, NDDC, as the commission presented the state with sanitation equipment and trucks to help maintain the state as the cleanest in Nigeria.
The governor thanked President Buhari for finding an indigene of the state worthy of the appointment into the NDDC top office and lauded the new NDDC boss’ effort to synergize with governors of member states and stakeholders in the region, describing the move as purposeful and in the interest of the region.
“Let me sincerely first of all appreciate the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria for recognizing one of our own to be the interim Administrator and CEO.
“I also want to use this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Niger Delta for fighting to get that for the state, because it could have gone anywhere.
“Let me also thank you for these engagement meetings with the stakeholders.
There is nothing as good as sitting down to discuss. We are not enemies in anyway. We should be partners in progress.
“The NDDC is for our region, we should benefit from it. If we don’t benefit from it we have not achieved the purpose”, the governor said.
Governor Emmanuel therefore welcomed the new partnership with the NDDC and stated the commitment of his government to the partnership. He pledged the optimum support of his government to the new NDDC management and called on sister-states governors and stakeholders to embrace the new phase of synergy.
“For this opportunity we are ready to collaborate with you because you are ready to agree with us. Since you say you are going to agree with us on our development pattern, then we are ready to also agree and work with you, but please make use of this opportunity and leave a legacy”, Governor Emmanuel said.
He therefore appealed to the NDDC to revisit projects in the state, including the $20m worth transmission line from Ikot Abasi through Ekparakwa to link with the line that comes from Aba and also undertake construction of other projects that will aid the Akwa Ibom Completion Agenda.
The governor thanked the commission for acknowledging the Akwa Ibom’s status as Nigeria’s cleanest state and for the sanitation equipment, assuring that the state will do more in that regards.
“For you to give us this for being the cleanest state in Nigeria, you are pushing us to become the cleanest state in Africa. I’m sure we will do a lot more”, he added.
Eatlier, the Interim Administrator and CEO of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Akwa, expressed gratitude for the reception accorded him by the State government, despite short notice, describing his visit as home coming and the ingenuity of the state government his pride as an Akwa Ibomite.
Announcing President Buhari’s approval of official inauguaration of the NDDC Headquarters in the Marine Base, Port Harcourt on Thursday, February 25, 2020, he said the President was particularly concerned about the development of the Niger Delta region and has given his team a charge in that direction.
He declared that the era of the NDDC embarking on projects without a working relationship with relevant state governments, to integrate their development plans and programmes was over and that the visit was in acknowledgement of the Akwa Ibom governor’s strategic role in the development of the region and to seek stronger alliance with the government and people of the state.
He lauded the governor’s pro-Niger Delta position, the industrialization drive and commitment of his administration to building social infrastructures as key to sustainable physical infrastructural development, particularly commending the state-owned airline, Ibom Air, for its trademark of quality.
Announcing a donation of six waste disposal trucks, a marine boat, firefighting gears and several receptacles, the NDDC boss said the gesture was part of the commission’s support for the state’s continuous efforts to surmount the growing concern of waste management and maintain its position as the cleanest state in the country.