BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, FRCN PORT HARCOURT
Minister of Niger Delta Development, Mr. Abubakar Momoh has urged Management and board members of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, to be prudent in management of resources.
The Minister who gave the advice while declaring open a two-Day board and management retreat of NDDC at Ikot Ekpene Akwa Ibom State, emphasized the need to harmonize the development plans for the region by state governments, International Oil Companies and the commission.
The Board and management retreat with the theme, Renewed Hope, a new era for vitality, peace and development was put up for the new board to brain storm and chart a new course for proper implementation of Niger Delta Development, NDDC Master plan.
In a keynote address, the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Mr. Abubakar Momo, who believed it was expedient to gather people of great experiences to speak about the way forward for NDDC, enjoined all stakeholders to forge a common force to move the agency forward.
Mr. Mono who asked the new board to follow laid down regulations in the activities of the commission, stressed on accountability, integrity and prudent management of resources.
Similarly, former managing Director NDDC, Timi Alaibe who spoke on delivery of Sustainable development, strategic imperatives, emphasized the importance of development that meets the current need of the people without jeopardizing the future.
Mr. Alaibe called for care in economic and social welfare, adding that long term thinking was paramount, in areas of oil spills, oil theft, pollutions and its implications to both aquatic and terrestrial lives.
In the same vein, Chairman governing board of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, Mr. Chiedu Ebie said the board has decided to take practical steps in finding solutions to under development in Niger Delta region and tackle perennial issues facing the region.
The Chairman noted that the retreat was to redefine the vision of the commission in line with the Renewed hope agenda of Mr President.
On his part, the Managing Director, NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku observed that NDDC started executing projects in the rural communities because the agitations that gave birth to the commission was a cry from the rural areas due to their poor state.
Dr. Ogbuku who pleaded that NDDC be taken out of single Treasury Account to enjoy flexibility to access bulk funds, maintained that in most communities, majority of the projects, such as, roads, pipe born water, sure line protection were done by done by the interventionist agency.
According to him, within twenty four years, the commission has executed about eight thousand projects while more than three thousand new ones are ongoing in different communities across the region.
The Managing Director explained that apart from physical projects, NDDC has equally provided health care services, youths cum women empowerment in addition to educational support.
It is expected that the outcome of the retreat would form a solid foundation of renewed hope and massive development of Niger Delta region.
Present at the event were former ministers, National Assembly members and other major stakeholders including Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Pastor Umo Eno represented by the deputy governor.