By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Resolution reached at a two-day Retreat for Board and Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has identified the frequent changes in the Governing Board of the Commission as one of the factors accounting for the challenges in projects execution and delivery in the development of the region.
To remove the blockage, participants at the retreat called on the Federal Government to ensure the current board completes its tenure, while also advocating continuity in succeeding boards to ensure sustainability of the commission’s projects.
Captured in a communique issued at the retreat which ended at the weekend in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, the participants identified the need for proper synergy, collaboration and coordinating framework between the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, State Governments in the regions, the NDDC and development partners.
Noting procurement as the heart of governance and one of the government activities most vulnerable to corruption, they called the Board and Management of the NDDC to effectively discharge their responsibility to manage the Procurement process involving all stakeholders, without sacrificing the core objectives as provided under the Procurement Act.
The retreat took a cursory look into the need for the urgent release of all outstanding statutory contributions of the Federal Government to the NDDC fund, as the non-release of these funds has significantly hampered the ability of the commission to deliver on its mandate.
It also pointed out the need for some form of financial autonomy for the NDDC outside the Treasury Single Account (TSA) regime in view of the peculiar construction window of the Niger Delta region.
This autonomy is hope to encourage the process of getting the commission take advantage of traditional credit sources in completing its projects and deliver real impact and sustainable development to the long-suffering people of the region.
Given the mandate as enshrined in the Act 2000, NDDC should establish clear, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound (SMART) goals that the Commission would demonstrably commit to and deliver upon, fostering increased public trust.
In the same way, he leadership of the Commission have been tasked to consistently demonstrate their commitment to ethical principles, through their decisions and behavior.
It also stressed the need for the development of key governance policies and procedures to promote clarity of roles and minimize discord on the Board, as well as defined reporting framework covering key stakeholders and transparency.
Gathered on theme, “Renewed Hope: A New Era for Vitality, Peace & Development”, participants commended the 7th Governing Board and Management for the full-scale engagement of key stakeholders that the Retreat presented.
It was the first-time former Chairmen and Managing Directors of the commission were invited to be part of the Commission’s Board & Management retreat.
The communique was signed by the the Chairman of the Governing Board, Mr. Chiedu Ebie and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Samuel Ogbuku among others.