Make Regular Visits To N’Delta Leaders, Ikpeazu Advises Nsima Ekere
Despite repeated calls for a meeting to discuss areas of partnership for the good of the people, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) led by Mr Nsima Ekere has again rebuff the Akwa Ibom State Government, opting instead to jet into the Abia State Government House.
In spite of being the highest producer of crude oil and the most peaceful state in the Niger Delta, Akwa Ibom has continued to be overlooked by the NDDC, with states like Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo among others, are regular hosts to the intervention agency.
The Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, advised the Board and Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission to imbibe a new spirit of collaboration in the development of the Niger Delta region.
Governor Ikpeazu said that interactions with the leaders in the Niger Delta should be more regular, as it would make for better collaboration in the execution of projects. When we collaborate, we will get better results,” he said.
Dr Ikpeazu said the present crop of management team had the responsibility of making the impact of the agency felt in the region.
He lamented that the NDDC has failed to contribute as desired in the area of infrastructural development in Abia state, made a special case for the Ohanko-Aba Road, which he said was critical to the state.
The Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Senator Ndoma-Egba told the Governor that the Commission was working with a new attitude of cooperation and collaboration.
Senator Ndoma-Egba said that one of the first decisions taken by the Board was to make a case for the re-activation of all dormant organs of the Commission. One such important organ, he said, was the Advisory Committee made up of all the Governors of the NDDC member states and two other members appointed by Mr. President.
Senator Ndoma-Egba noted that it was necessary to revive the Advisory Committee because the NDDC must work with the government of the member States to ensure that they took ownership of its projects and programmes, as well as check the duplication of projects.
The NDDC Chairman said that the Commission was going around to meet with governors because, according to him “we are now operating with a new spirit of partnership. We must move the region forward, and we can only do this by cooperating.”
He said that the Commission was implementing an innovative 4-R strategy which entails: “Restructuring the balance sheet which currently has about N1.2 trillion worth of on-going projects; Reforming the governance systems to ensure that as an organization we comply with extant rules and regulations and prevent mistakes of the past from recurring; Restoring the core mandate of the Commission by ensuring we have a properly prepared set of Master Plans for the 9 States; Reaffirming our commitment to doing what’s right and proper.”
The visiting NDDC team included the Chairman of the Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, the Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, the Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr Mene Derek, the Executive Director Projects, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, and other Directors of the Commission.