NDDC Intensifies Light Up Niger Delta Campaign to Check Criminality
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer expressed delight at the positive impact of the “Light Up the Niger Delta” campaign, which he observed had reduced criminality in the various communities and enhanced commercial activities in the areas.He said: “We thought it was necessary to create the right environment for our people to live in peace by reducing criminal activities in our communities, because most of these communities have become hideouts for criminals who operate under the cover of darkness.“We decided to adopt the clean energy approach which not only provides light but helps in the fight to mitigate the effects of climate change on our environment. I can assure you that the incidence of crime has reduced in most of these communities.”Ogbuku pledged that many more communities across the Niger Delta region would benefit from the solar-powered street light projects, which, he said, the NDDC was pursuing with vigour.Addressing the issue of stakeholders' engagement, the Managing Director observed that such engagements were instrumental to maintaining peace in various communities. He re-stated that no development would take place in a crisis-prone environment.He remarked: “One of the cardinal policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is stakeholders’ engagement and that is one area the NDDC is doing very well and we are getting good results from it.”Ogbuku urged Niger Delta youths to continue to support the policies and programmes of the Federal Government “because Mr. President means well for the people of the Niger Delta region.”“With peace in the Niger Delta, you can be sure that there will be development and prosperity in the region. Mr. President sent us to the NDDC to make a difference and not to be bogged down by the ills of the past.”Speaking on the 2024 budget, Ogbuku noted that the sources of income for the Commission were the Federal Government and the International Oil Companies, IOC’s. He prayed that the oil companies would be consistent with their contributions, while the government will improve on its allocations to the Commission.According to the NDDC boss, the expected income of the Commission for 2024 would be higher, but this should be seen against the background that “we are highly indebted.”He explained: “In our budget, we are trying to create a threshold for old debts, so that while we are paying debts, it will not affect the execution of new projects.“As part of our managerial skill, we must be able to strike a balance between payment of old debts and financing new projects. We cannot sit down here and be paying debts without also doing new things for the people of the Niger Delta.”“We will ensure that we don’t exceed our threshold on payment of old debts. That way, funding for new projects will not suffer. Most of the international organisations we are discussing with know that we are indebted and they want to see our plan for liquidating the debts.”Giving insight on the youth empowerment programme of the Commission, tagged Holistic Opportunities Programme of Engagement, HOPE, Ogbuku announced that over 300,000 youths of Niger Delta extraction have registered in the NDDC data base.He said: “We encourage more persons to register because we want to ensure that our future engagements with youths will be based only on those who have registered with us in the database. That will enable us to know their areas of competence, because we discovered that our previous trainings were given to friends and family members who are probably not even interested in the training.” Ogbuku called on other youths to seize the opportunity and be part of the process, explaining that project Hope registration is a platform for data collation of all unemployed youths of the region, from where selection would be made for training and empowerment.Pius Ughakpoteni
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says it will intensify its efforts to light up communities across the nine states of the Niger Delta, with solar-powered street lights, as part of measures to fight criminality and maintain peace in the region.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, stressed the importance of the campaign, especially as it relates to security in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
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January 3, 2024.