The Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has reaffirmed its resolve to refocus the Commission to its original mandate and make it the vehicle to bring development and peace to the Niger Delta region.
NDDC Board to Restore Commission to Original Mandate
The Chairman of the Board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), said this in his remarks at the inaugural meeting of the board held at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Senator Ndoma-Egba regretted that the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan meant to accelerate the development of this hitherto turbulent and underdeveloped region has so far failed to achieve that objective. Rather, he said, “the region has become even more turbulent and more underdeveloped than when the Master Plan was launched, clearly because the Master Plan was abandoned after all the fanfare that attended its launching in 2007.”
The chairman said: “The Commission lost its focus as a development commission or agency and has rather acquired the reputation, rightly or wrongly, of a contract awarding factory or machine, delivering little impactful development to the Region.
“We are coming on board at a very challenging time. The public image of the Commission is not edifying. The militancy, restlessness and lack of development are most unnerving. We must rebrand the Commission and change the public perception of it as a slush fund and this we must do through our honest work and single minded focus and discipline.”
Senator Ndoma-Egba stressed the need to reform the processes of the Commission, adding that things must be done differently if different results must be achieved.
He added: “We must see our appointments as a life time opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of the ordinary people of the region and write our names in gold for posterity and not an opportunity for our own slice of the proverbial national cake or short term benefits. We should keep our eyes on history.”
He said that the need to make the difference was an imperative choice the NDDC board and management must make if history must judge them fairly, noting that how history would judge the Commission was a matter of choice.
Senator Ndoma-Egba noted that previous interventions in the Region had been unremarkable, starting from the Niger-Delta Development Board (1961 – 1972), Niger-Delta River Basin Authority (1972 – 1983), Oil Minerals producing Areas Development Commission (1972 – 2000) to the NDDC.
Buhari means well for the Niger Delta - NDDC Chairman
The Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his determination to develop the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during the inaugural meeting of the Board at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Thursday, the Chairman, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, cited the increase in the budgets of the Ministry of Niger ~Delta Affairs, the NDDC and the Amnesty Programme, the new urgency for the completion of the East – West Road, the East – West Rail line, the Ogoni Clean up, as well as the recent dialogue with leaders from the region, and expressed faith “in President’s Buhari’s goodwill and good faith towards the region.”
According to the Chairman, these intervention agencies failed for loss of focus, mismanagement, inadequate funding, corruption and the lack of the appropriate will to develop the region. He said that though the time for the current board was short, it was long enough to chart a new path.
Senator Ndoma-Egba stated that the Commission must shed weight and unnecessary baggage and burdens to be effective and transparent. He said further: “In keeping with Mr. President’s change agenda and global best practices we have to audit our systems, processes, projects, and staff. The Commission must be transparent so that we can get more support from stakeholders and engage the attention of International Development partners.”
We will back NDDC to refocus, Imo Governor assures
The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has expressed willingness to support the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in its quest to refocus the interventionist agency to the task of fast-tracking development in the Niger Delta region.
The governor was speaking at the Imo State Government House, Owerri, when he granted audience to the Governing Board of the NDDC, led by its Chairman, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, on Friday.
The visiting team included the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, the Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr Mene Derek, Executive Director Projects, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, and other members of the Board.
Governor Okorocha said that NDDC needed the support and partnership of key stakeholders to turn things around in the oil-rich region. He said he was optimistic that the new team in the Commission would change the narrative, adding: “This is the time for me and my people to smile.”
He said further: “I want NDDC to do something about its image and when it does, I will be the person to sing its song loud to Abuja and to the whole world. He also expressed confidence that “things will change in NDDC.”
NDDC defy militants threat, move on with projects to restore Niger Delta (Photos)
Meanwhile, ex-militant leaders in the Niger Delta have expressed their displeasure at the way the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Nsima Ekere is handling the affairs of the body.
The Sun reports that the repentant militants under the umbrella of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), a nongovernmental organisation, has protested against what it described as Ekere’s ‘incompetence’.
In a statement signed by its chief press secretary Barrister F.O. Wainwei, the group accused Ekere of stockpiling funds of the commission allegedly to further his ambition to become a state governor.