Abuja, July 6, 2023: The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has expressed its readiness to partner with relevant development agencies and donors to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable population in the Niger Delta region.
The Managing Director, NDDC, Chief Samuel Ogbuku expressed this at a one- day Policy dialogue with development partners and donor agencies on Thursday in Abuja.
The theme of the dialogue is “Deepening governance through transparency and valued-added partnership’’.
Ogbuku said that one of the objectives of the dialogue was to comprehensively map the donor interventions and compile data on projects in the Niger Delta that complement the mandate of NDDC.
“It will also establish a coordination framework by identifying gaps and ensuring alignment.
“It will help to pool grants, technical assistance and expertise together to innovatively leverage additional resources and prepare financing options for joint social investments.”
He assured investors not to be scared as the management of the commission would ensure peaceful collaboration with partners.
“So if you are coming to invest in NDDC or you are partnering with other projects you should be rest assured that these projects are going to be judiciously used for the benefit of Niger Delta people.
“So we are here today to tell you that we are ready. We are here to let you know that whatever conditions you give to us, we are open to imbibe those conditions,” he said.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Shuaib Belgore said that the aim of the forum was to brainstorm on the shared-mandates of the Ministry and the NDDC.
Belgore said brainstorming with development partners and the private sectors would guide the leadership of the Ministry and NDDC on how best to collaborate and promote greater synergy for enhanced results in the overall development of the region.
“This is also one of many new strategies designed by the current management of the Ministry and the NDDC, to fast-track the development of the region through extra-budgetary provisions aimed at meeting socio-economic needs of the region.
“I strongly believe that this platform would present the stakeholders a window of opportunity to collectively review our past development efforts in the region.
“With a view to charting a new robust road-map premised on probity and corporate governance structure.’’
He further said that the collaborative engagements with some partners had resulted in laudable achievements in the region.
“To cite few examples in this regard, the construction of the Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State, built in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and NDDC.
“The completed and the development of a Security Framework for participatory incident reporting and strengthening of rural and urban security in the region on which Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in Niger Delta (PIND) is collaborating with the Ministry among others.”
He said given the significant achievements recorded within the time-frame, the Ministry and NDDC were optimistic that a lot more good outcomes and measurable effectiveness in the region is achievable.
On his part, Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, Chairman, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Committee, NDDC, said that there were a lot of projects the Commission could partner with relevant development agencies to enhance development in Niger Delta region.
Audu-Ohwavborua said that the commission had built over 5000 kilometer roads and more than 42 bridges in the region.
In his goodwill message, Mr Joe Keshi, the Director-General, BRACI Commission, expressed willingness to collaborate with NDDC to improve the lives of people of the region.
According to him, it is time to change the narrative in the Niger Delta, because what the people of the region need is improved livelihood.