By Emmanuel Obisue
Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, said it has completed 7, 833 projects over the years, and that 3,427 others are currently ongoing to mitigate developmental challenges in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, MD/CEO of the NDDC, gave these statistics while speaking at the Board and Management Retreat of the NDDC, in Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, a statement issued on Sunday by Chindaya Ahmadu, Director of Press in the Ministry of Niger Delta Development informed.
In his presentation titled, “The journey so far and the road ahead”, he noted since the commission was created, it has done a lot in the provision of education, clean water, good health facilities, roads, medical outreach, training, and others.
While regretting that mistakes were made in the course of doing this, resulting in many abandoned projects, he said to address this, his administration advocated for the ‘triple T’ approach – Transiting from Transaction to Transformation.
Earlier, participants at the Retreat called for a paradigm shift from the litany of setbacks and lost opportunities witnessed by the commission to address issues that would positively impact the lives of people, and ensure the desired socio-economic development in the region.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Renewed Hope: A New Era for Vitality, Peace and Development’, Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh noted that the retreat presented an opportunity to interrogate and prescribe solutions in corrective quest for sustainable development.
“If we must make any headway in chanting the desired roadmap for sustainable development, all hands must be on deck with every courage, it deserves to tackle these factors that have constituted a clog in the wheel of the development programmes and policies in the region.
“To this end, I urge the new board and Management of NDDC to cautiously strive to enthrone a regime of strengthened institution through transparent and realistic adherence to financial regulations, public procurement acts, public service rules, and compliance with administrative guidelines. Also, collaboration with critical stakeholders, especially with the state governments is necessary to leverage the opportunities in achieving the presidential deliverables.
“There is a need to cautiously monitor and evaluate the performances of all contracts to ensure compliance. On our side as a ministry, we would make sure that monitoring measures are put in place to guarantee quality and ensure projects implemented stand the test of time. We need to do things differently with the new board so that people can see the value for money spent,” he said.