The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, says the Commission is working in line with the policy of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration which emphasises stakeholders’ engagements in the development process.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by members of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, Ogbuku, said it was important to involve all stakeholders in driving the Sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
He remarked: “We all face the same challenges in the region and this means that we must all work together to address the challenges, regardless of our ethnic background. Challenges, such as underdevelopment and ecological problems, confront all of us.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer stated that the history of the Niger Delta struggle will not be complete without indexing the contributions of the Ogoni people, noting: “Your contributions cannot be forgotten. More importantly, we are going to support all ethnic nationalities because we are working for all Niger Deltans.
“In the quest for development of the region, NDDC alone cannot achieve it without the support and partnership of different stakeholders in both government and private sectors.”
Ogbuku announced that the Commission would organise a stakeholder’s summit early next year to review its activities in the past 23 years and give all groups in the region the opportunity to be part of the development process.
He urged the MOSOP delegation to continue to support the NDDC in its efforts to develop the region, advising them to avoid denigrating the Commission in the media, considering that it was the only government agency with visible projects in many Niger Delta communities.
The NDDC boss charged the Ogonis to continue to promote peace as development could only take place in a peaceful and safe environment.
“I, therefore, urge you to support the policies of President Tinubu’s administration. Let us ensure that there is peace in our communities,” he advised.
Ogbuku told the visiting delegation that the newly inaugurated NDDC Governing Board was committed to accelerating the development of the Niger Delta region, stating: “We are going to undertake more legacy and regional projects. Currently, we have embarked on an elaborate project to light up the Niger Delta with solar-powered street lights, as part of the measures to reduce criminality in our communities.”
Earlier, the MOSOP President and leader of the delegation, Chief Prince Biira, appealed to the NDDC to extend more development projects to Ogoniland to enhance the living conditions of the people who had suffered for many years on account of oil pollution and negligence.
He reminded the Managing Director that the NDDC was a product of the struggle of the Ogoni people and other agitated Niger Deltans.
In spite of this, he said the Commission had not imparted sufficiently on the lives of the people.
“The essence of this engagement is to exchange ideas on the development challenges of our people. Your pedigree rekindles our hope for a new dawn,” he said.
The MOSOP President described Ogbuku as “a visionary administrator with a clear mission to bring transformational development in communities across the Niger Delta region.”Biira observed that things were beginning to change in the way NDDC was tackling the development challenges in the Niger Delta region, noting that the Commission’s participatory management system was commendable.
He said further: “We commend the NDDC for initiating a fresh era in the region. We urge you to sustain this laudable effort. We agree that NDDC has projects in Ogoni land, but a lot more needs to be done.
“For instance, we need assistance in upgrading and furnishing the primary schools in our communities.”
Director, Corporate Affairs
November 27, 2023.