Execute Big Ticket Projects, Bayelsa Governor Urges NDDC
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to collaborate with the state governments in executing big-ticket projects that will impact on the lives of the people.
The Governor made the appeal when he hosted the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, the Bayelsa State representative on the Governing Board of the NDDC, Senator Denyanbofa Dimaro, the Executive Director, Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola and other directors of the Commission, at Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Diri said that the Commission should endeavour to execute legacy projects, noting: “We all want to leave legacies in places where we work. I lend my hands of support to you and the board of the NDDC.”
He said that the big-ticket projects in the state were located in the three senatorial districts of the state, stating: “We have started the Nembe-Brass road because of its importance. Such projects will save us from the kind of boat mishap that occurred recently. We want the NDDC to collaborate with us on the road.”
Governor Diri charged the NDDC to fully activate the Advisory Council of the Commission to effectively give a voice to the governors who are members. “I urge you to quickly meet with the governors to get their blessings on matters of development projects in the states,” he said.
He frowned at a situation where the NDDC moved into states to execute projects without letting the states know and remarked: “We need to ensure synergy and avoid duplication of projects. This can be achieved by activating the powers of the Governors as members of the Advisory Board in line with Section 2 of the Act establishing the NDDC.”
Governor Diri said further: “As governors, we fought for the setting up of the substantive Board of the NDDC. It is a prayer that has been answered and we thank President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to us.
Speaking earlier, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, assured the Governor that all NDDC stakeholders were being engaged to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region. “We are engaging the International Oil Companies, IOCs, traditional rulers, civil society groups, contractors and youths in the Niger Delta region,” he said.
The NDDC boss said that as a way of addressing its inadequate financial resources, the Commission had adopted a Public Private Partnership, PPP, approach to development. He invited the Governor to be part of the PPP Summit being organized by the Commission in Lagos before the end of the month.
Ogbuku also told the governor that the Ogbia-Nembe Road, which was executed through a partnership between the NDDC and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, would be commissioned by President Buhari in May.
According to the Managing Director, one of the first steps by the management was a decision to do things differently.
He said that the NDDC was making efforts to capture every stakeholder in its 2024 budget, adding: “We expect that our 2024 budget will be all-inclusive. We will ensure that our projects have a limited life span. We are working on having a smart budget.”
Ogbuku remarked that the NDDC had developed a new concept of working with the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce in the training of youths and young entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region.
He explained that the Commission would collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce to support Small and Medium Enterprises in the region.
He stressed: “We will strengthen young entrepreneurs in the region. It is no longer acceptable that our youths will be at home and be receiving stipends. Hence, we are changing the NDDC Youth Volunteer programme to Youth Internship Programmes where youths will be attached to organisations to learn skills.”
Dr. Ibitoye Abosede
Director, Corporate Affairs
April 13, 2023.