The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, has assured that the new leadership in the Commission will work to impact positively on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking at a meeting with management and staff of the Commission at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, Onochie noted that “it is imperative to chart a new course for the NDDC, different from what obtained in the past.”
She declared: “We are here to do things differently. We have to work with new ideas to be able to achieve the objective of fast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region.
“The NDDC was established specifically for the people of the Niger Delta region. As an interventionist agency, it is meant to bring prosperity to the Niger Delta region. We are here to serve the people of the region and by extension serve Nigeria. We are here to reposition the NDDC.”
The Chairman said that President Muhammadu Buhari was anxious to reposition the NDDC to ensure that it worked in the interest of the people of the region. To give effect to this, she said that members of the Board under her leadership would “work as a team committed to that vision.”.
She stated: “Our interest is to improve the lives of Niger Delta people. The monies meant for the development of the Niger Delta must be used for the region.”
Also speaking, the NDDC Managing Director, Chief Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for inaugurating the NDDC Board and pledged that the members were committed to the development of the Niger Delta region.
Ogbuku stated that the NDDC Governing Board will not seek to antagonize anyone or any group, but would tap from the vast experiences of the NDDC staff and all stakeholders. The NDDC Governing Board, he said, will create an environment for creativity and ingenuity to flourish in the Commission, in order to achieve its mandate.
He said: “I want to assure you that we are not here to antagonize anybody. We are here to depend on your experience. We need your cooperation, we need your support. You need an enabling environment to showcase your ingenuity. You are well trained and experienced to give the people of the Niger Delta region the best.”
Ogbuku commended the leadership of the former Acting Managing Director, Engineer Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua for guiding the NDDC through a crisis-free period.
Presenting his handover notes, Audu-Ohwavborua noted that during his brief tenure in office, the NDDC intervened to rehabilitate the flood ravaged areas of the East-West road, “to make the road motorable and provided palliatives for victims of the flood disaster in all the nine mandate states in the Niger Delta region.”
He said the Commission’s 2021 and 2022 Budget was awaiting approval from the Presidency while over one thousand uncompleted projects spread across the nine mandate States of the Niger Delta region were cancelled during his two-month tenure.