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Why Niger Delta Stakeholders Must Discuss Development Issues – Ogbuku

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has stressed the importance of stakeholders’ engagements in the development of the Niger Delta region.

Addressing newsmen during a World Press Conference in Port Harcourt, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, said Niger Deltans needed to have a conversation on development issues, hence the Niger Delta Stakeholders Summit taking place in the Rivers State capital from July 10-13, 2924.

According to a press release on Friday, 5th July 2024 signed by the NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Seledi Thompson-Wakama, Ogbuku said that the stakeholders’ summit, with the theme: “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” would provide a platform for new ideas and strategies to fast-track development in the Niger Delta in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

According to the NDDC boss, “the summit will not just be a forum for a few individuals, but will involve major stakeholders, including members of the National Assembly, Ministers from the region, traditional rulers and the private sector experts to discuss the Niger Delta.”

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer stated that previous engagements with different groups were instrumental in maintaining peace in various communities, noting that development could not 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.”

He said that such engagements would help the Commission implement projects that would ensure sustainable development of the Niger Delta region and address the aspirations and needs of the people of the region and noted that rather than working at cross purposes, the summit would help the development partners in the region to harmonise their activities.

Ogbuku said that the Commission, as the path of its rebirth and rewind policy, was “transiting from transaction to transformation” in the process of developing the Niger Delta region.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer stated that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had charged the Commission to complete and commission signature projects that would impact the lives of Niger Deltans.

Ogbuku stated that the Commission would 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.

He said that the Commission was also providing portable water in communities across the region, stating that this was critical at this period when the cholera epidemic had become a big health challenge.

Giving insight on the youth empowerment programme of the Commission, tagged Holistic Opportunities Programme of Engagement, HOPE, Ogbuku called on the youths to seize the opportunity and be part of the process.

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 said further: “Building a comprehensive database for the youths in the region will allow the Commission to plan, as well share the relevant data with other development agencies that may need them for planning.

In the area of entrepreneurship, Ogbuku noted that the NDDC through the Niger Delta Chambers of Commerce had streamlined engagement in giving support to farmers and verifiable entrepreneurs in the region.

The Managing Director said that the NDDC had put measures in place to ensure financial discipline in the Commission, This, he said, necessitated the engagement of KPMG to design a corporate governance system for the Commission. He explained that the corporate governance structure would increase the confidence of partners that work with the Commission.

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