…As Minister Inaugurates Board
The Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Chinedu Ebie, has stressed the need for collaboration with all stakeholders in driving the Renewed Hope Agenda of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for Nigeria and the Niger Delta region in particular.
Speaking during the inauguration of the NDDC Board at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, Mr. Ebie said that the Commission would achieve more when there is collaboration and harmony in the development process.
He stated: “To maintain focus on our development efforts, the Board will honor and collaborate with critical stakeholders in the region. We will execute legacy projects based on detailed needs assessment. Furthermore, we will seek strategic collaborations and partnerships with opinion leaders, community leaders, professionals and development partners to leverage constructive and attainable outlooks.
“Effective communication with key stakeholders is paramount in the discharge of our duties as this will foster trust, restore transparency and promote accountability; all of which are of great importance to the people of the region and Nigeria in general.”
“The Board will stand on the pedestal of Mr. President’s Renewed Hope mantra. We will look back at the vision and history of NDDC’s 23-year existential journey, aligning it with current realities and the objectives of the current administration. This approach will illuminate the yearning needs of the people of the Niger Delta, identify the commission’s challenges, and proffer workable solutions.
“We acknowledge the genuine endeavors of our predecessors, who, at various times worked towards the development of the Niger Delta region through infrastructure projects and human capital development. Nonetheless, evident gaps still persist, as brought to light during our confirmation hearing at the National Assembly, especially concerning legacy and signature projects. This emphasizes the imperative for additional efforts and reforms centered around the needs of the people.”
In tandem with the Presidency, National Assembly and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, we will take coordinated steps to come up with plans that will systematically guide our actions and efforts in actualizing our mandate.
We earnestly seek the support and goodwill of stakeholders and people of the Niger Delta Region to enable us usher in a new era of vitality, hope, peace and sustainable development for the region.
Speaking while inaugurating the Board, the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh has warned the new Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission to either perform or get the boot.
This, is as Abubakar also challenged the newly inaugurated board on the need to change the narratives around the commission.
He explained that the current administration has a template to measure performance and any board that fails to measure up will be shown the way out.
He said, “And it is also necessary for you to know that this administration is quite different from others because they are going to be a lot of supervision and monitoring in order for us to deliver.
“Mr. President as you are aware, two weeks ago, myself as a minister and the Permanent Secretary signed performance bond, with Mr. President and the performance bond that we signed with Mr. President, have deliverables that are associated with the eight presidential priorities.
He also said the members of the board would be made to sign performance bond just like the ministers.
This, he however said will be done during a proposed retreat for NDDC board members and management team.
” So it’s very, very important because the President is not joking with this, and from time to time, we are expected to present our reports and there is also a committee that will be set up by Mr. president to monitor the performance of each ministry and the agencies.
“So I think I want this one to be behind your mind so that as you start your work, you know exactly what is expected from you.”
On the need to change the negative perspective about the Commission, Momoh said, ” We are all aware that over time, there have been a lot of complaints about NDDC
“I want to also use this opportunity to appeal that this time around, we need to change the narratives.
“All those negative statements around the commission let us as much as possible, this time to say well under the presidency of Mr. President, Senator Bola Tinubu and my leadership in the ministry and yourself operating at that level, that all those negative statements about NDDC are changed.
“And what am I saying, there are quiet a number of abandoned projects in NDDC, there are quite a number of indebtedness in NDDC.
He further posited that members of the board should take it as a responsibility to develop the region.
“Because you are all from Niger Delta, and the progress of that area is supposed to be your utmost concern,” Momoh said.
Momoh also challenged the board on the need to complete abandoned projects scattered across the nine states that makes up the commission.
He said, “So, I believe by the time you resume work, first of all check around and see such projects and get them completed.”
He also urged the board to look inward, saying that “By the time you start project execution, let us focus on those projects that will give us name.
He also appealed to the new management to offset the debt of the commission to its contractors, especially the local contractors with “very small amount, not more than N30 million”.
“So that’s why we say you need to be advised from the beginning on the need to work in harmony both members of the board and management, you need to work in harmony and make sure that you deliver and let it be record in your name that in your time NDDC was transformed,” he stressed.
He said, “Let me also advise you, you are going to work as a team. Needless to tell you that you need to work in harmony. You must work in harmony. Every person should understand his/her role.
Director, Corporate Affairs
November 16, 2023.