NDDC Completes 7,483 Projects  – MD/CEO

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By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 24 years after the 2000 Act, has initiated and completed 7,483 people’s oriented projects in Niger Delta region, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Commission has said.

Chief Ogbuku revealed on Friday in a paper titled, “The Journey So Far & The Road Ahead” he presented at a 2-day Board and Management Retreat organised by the Commission in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.

Out of the figures, the MD said, 3,357 are roads and bridges, 611 energy projects, while 3,427 are ongoing in the region, which many of them, he added, are not reported but are there physically for all to see.

He also said that the figures are besides vocational training programmes, post-graduate scholarship schemes and other unquantifiable projects that the commission has embarked on within the years.

Carpeting NDDC critics who described the commission as a failure, the Chief Executive Officer added, “In the past 24 years, NDDC has done a lot of training that you cannot really expantiate. The medical outreach NDDC has embarked on in Niger Delta has been most successful to bring medical outreaches to people of the region. These are soft development that you cannot really quantify them. 

“In terms of Post-graduates scholarships scheme, NDDC has given out over 2300 scholarships to Niger Niger indigenes. This scheme is most successful in Niger Delta that even state government also depends. You come to projects infrastructure in the past 24 years, you will realize that NDDC has completed about 7483 projects that included roads and bridges to connect rural communities with urban.  If you look at these projects, you will see that nobody will tag NDDC a failure.” Chief Ogbuku stressed among other strides.

Looking forward, he said the Commission through its rewind and rebirth strategy has come up with

triple T, meaning Transiting from transaction to transformation towards ensuring sustainability as well  transforming both development and individuals in the Niger Delta.

Another approach is the introduction of Holistic Opportunity Program and Engagement – Project Hope. This project means registering youths of the Niger Delta online to have a Data base so as to be able to plan for youths of the region for opportunities in the area of ICT and other viable ventures as well as eliminate vicious cycle of training same  set of youth.

The MD said NDDC has also created a structure to bring together entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta through Niger Delta Chambers of Commerce to identify verified businesses. The structure is designed to create sustainability and block every hole of wastage 

While calling on federal government to look into the case of NDDC and take it out of Treasury Single Account (TSA) in order for it have have the freedom to operate, Chief Ogbuku pledged the commitment of the board and management of NDDC to deliver on its mandate.

Chief Ogbuku noted that, although TSA policy was good for transparency, accountability and efficiency pooling of public resources but it has weighty limitations for an interventionist agency like NDDC.

He said the 2-day Board and Management Retreat tagged, Renewed Hope: A New Era for Vitality, Peace & Development was to brainstorm and set a new agenda for the board and management on the task to deliver on the Commission core mandate in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Eight (8) Priorities Agenda.

In his address, the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh said the Ministry has prioritized

Implementation of the harmonization of all development plans of all agencies and development partners operating in the Niger Delta region into a Single Integrated Regional Development Plan as a roadmap to accelerated development of the region. 

According to the minister, such harmony in development design would deliver the synergy and momentum sorely needed for the rapid transformation of the Niger Delta region.

He also stressed need for collaboration and partnership, stating, “We believe both the Ministry and NDDC must collaborate rather than compete with the State Governments in the region to best deliver value to the majority of the people. The collaborative strategy is also the cornerstone of the relationships with community leaders and the Oil Companies that operate in the region.”

The Minister described the theme of the retreat as timely stressing that it could not have come at a better time than now.

On his part,  Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno has reiterated the state government readiness to collaborate with NDDC to drag development to the state, that is why the state is ready to remain peaceful to extend a sense of safety in the state. 

Pastor Eno, who was represented by his deputy, Send. Akon Eyakenyi called for partnership with the state government in the areas care, building of model schools, development of Songai model farming project to take the youths off the streets, as well as security through the Ministry of Internal Security and Waterways.

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