Access to credit critical to Niger Delta development, NDDC boss
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has emphasized the critical role of financial institutions in creating wealth and facilitating the rapid development of the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, said this during a courtesy visit by senior officials of Ecobank, Nigeria Ltd. at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt. She said that the NDDC was always ready to partner with institutions that would add value to the people of the Niger Delta.
Mrs. Semenitari underscored the need for peace and security in the Gulf of Guinea, especially in Nigeria’s delta region, adding that it was the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to work for peace and security in the region. According to her, one of the biggest problems of insecurity stems from the fact that there was pervasive poverty in the land, compounded by delays with infrastructure delivery because of insufficient funds.
According to the NDDC boss, “it is always a pleasure to find people that add value to the Commission.” She thanked the Ecobank for working with NDDC contractors to deliver service to the people of the Niger Delta, noting that one of the biggest challenges that contractors in the region faced was lack of access to credit.
She said: “It is critical that we create wealth in this region. It is indeed in the national and global interest that we support our business people and entrepreneurs to ensure that there is enough wealth to go round poor communities in the region. So, it is a big issue for our small time people and we will be glad if banks support our communities.”
Mrs. Semenitari said that the performance of the NDDC would be enhanced if financial institutions provided the needed support to contractors to enable them execute projects on schedule.
The Acting Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs. Foluke Aboderin, assured that the bank would continue to support the NDDC and help in developing the Niger Delta by extending financial assistance to the Commission’s contractors.
She said: “We have been supporting NDDC contractors over the years. In fact, we designed a special product to finance the contractors of the NDDC which just shows that we are committed to the cause of the Niger Delta in every ramification. We shall continue to support the cause of the Niger Delta through financing of its various contractors and any other project that relates to private/public participation.”
Mrs. Aboderin said that Ecobank had the capacity to contribute substantially to the development process as a bank with the largest footprint in Africa.