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NDDC: Ughakpoteni Bows Out, Thompson-Wakama Steps Up To Lead Corporate Communications

With a mix of pride and nostalgia, I, Pius Ughakpoteni, announce my retirement as the Director of Corporate Affairs at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), effective June 26, 2024.

I am deeply grateful to the Managing Director/CEO of the NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, for his astute leadership and for considering wise counsel in approving the recommendation for my posting as the Director of Corporate Affairs. Leading this department has been an immense privilege and a profoundly fulfilling journey. Throughout my tenure, I have been fortunate to work alongside a dedicated team of professionals and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders committed to the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

I am especially grateful to my colleagues in the media, whose support and collaboration have been invaluable to our success. As a proud alumnus of the ThisDay family, I have always cherished the strong relationships I have built within the media industry. These connections have not only enriched my professional experience but have also played a pivotal role in amplifying the NDDC’s message and ensuring transparency in our operations.

As I embark on my next chapter, I will be fully engaged in two of my passions: lifelong learning and knowledge dissemination. In addition to running the Center for Corporate Sustainability Performance Advancement, where I will leverage my doctoral research from Business School Lausanne to work with C-suite executives on advancing corporate sustainability performance, I will dedicate my time to advocating for the practical application of the lessons encapsulated in my new book, “Making the Niger Delta Work: Strategy Execution Tips from the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan and Essays on the Niger Delta.”

Mrs. Seledi Thompson-Wakama

I am pleased to introduce Mrs. Seledi Thompson-Wakama, who belongs to the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), as my successor at the NDDC. Mrs. Thompson-Wakama has been a vital part of the NDDC’s history for a long time, joining the Commission in 2004 and advancing through significant roles from Manager to Director. But Seledi is more than just an accomplished professional with a wealth of knowledge and a keen intellect. She was fortunate enough to work under the guidance of Mr. Anietie Usen and Dr. Christie Atako, the first two Heads of the Commission’s Corporate Communications. Together, they cultivated the core values of integrity, passion, and the relentless pursuit of excellence that define our department today.

With a strong educational background from the University of Port Harcourt and the Mandelson School of Business and Management in the UK, as well as a recent Leadership Certificate from Harvard Business School, Mrs. Thompson-Wakama possesses a wealth of expertise in corporate governance, personnel management, and leadership. She has held key roles at prestigious organizations such as the NDDC, British American Insurance Limited, and the National Boundary Commission, demonstrating her capability to navigate complex organizational structures and deliver impactful results.

Reflecting on her appointment, Thompson-Wakama expressed her gratitude for the opportunity and pledged to continue the NDDC’s commitment to transparency and accountability. “I am honoured to be entrusted with this responsibility,” she said. “Effective communication is essential to our success, and I am committed to building upon the strong foundation that Mr Ughakpoteni has established and ensuring that the NDDC’s message is heard loud and clear.”

Mrs. Thompson-Wakama’s strategic vision, combined with her operational prowess and financial acumen, makes her an invaluable asset to the NDDC. I have full confidence in her ability to lead the Corporate Affairs department with distinction, building upon the strong foundation we have established and further enhancing the NDDC’s reputation as a transparent and accountable organization. I leave my role knowing that the NDDC is in capable hands. My exit today is in line with a plan Seledi and I have been working on over the past few weeks to ensure a seamless handover process and to uphold the high standards of corporate communications we have set.

I am deeply grateful for the support I have received throughout my tenure at NDDC. I am proud of the progress we have made in advancing the organization’s communication strategies and upholding its mission of sustainable development in the Niger Delta region. To all our stakeholders and partners, I extend my sincere appreciation for your collaboration and dedication. Your commitment to the NDDC’s mandate has been integral to our collective achievements.

I urge my friends in the media to embrace Seledi with the same warmth and camaraderie you have shown me, and together, let us continue to build upon the legacy we have nurtured. I am excited about the future and the opportunity to continue contributing to the field of corporate sustainability.

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