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We’ll fashion new path for sustainable development of N/Delta – MD, NDDC

MANAGING Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Nsima Ekere, he pledged the commitment of the newly-constituted Governing Board and Management of the commission to fashioning out a new path for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

He made the pledge when the new board, under the chairmanship of Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, took over the reins of the interventionist agency at the NDDC Headquarters in Port Harcourt, on Monday.

Ekweremadu, in a statement issued from the NDDC Corporate Affairs Department, said the commission operate a ‘4-R Initiative’ as a strategic roadmap for development, adding “this would involve restructuring the balance sheet, reforming the governance protocols, restoring the commission’s core mandate and reaffirming its commitment to doing what was right and proper.

“We will work to promote cooperation, collaboration and synergy among stakeholders, such as state and local governments, oil and gas companies, donor agencies, civil society organisations, community-based organisations and other traditional institutions, in order to make regional development a shared vision and common aspiration.

“We would have to do things differently to improve the transparency of our processes, leverage technology to increase accountability and efficiency, consult stakeholders frequently, engage proactively and be creative about the programmes that we design, to uplift the people and the region,” he said.

He noted that the focus of the commission would be on intervention programmes that would deliver real measurable developmental outcomes for the region and its citizens.

“Five priorities of NDDC will be to focus on regional development and integration; ecological management and health awareness; stakeholder engagement and work with development partners and NGOs; human capital development and fostering youth engagement as well as developing the non-oil sector to attract new industries,” he added.

Also speaking, chairman of the new NDDC Board, Senator Ndoma-Egba, said the commission would be guided by the principles of change being espoused by the Federal Government.

“Things will be done differently because circumstance has changed. The economy is now more challenging and when the times are changing, you must get more innovative.  We must cut excesses.  So, we must be leaner.  Our books must be cleaned up. Our projects must be properly supervised and processes must be audited. Our finances must be audited so that we are lean and efficient.

“The times are different and we must change with the times.  We must be creative and more efficient. I will choose the part of history that brought change. I will not be part of the group that would want to remain with the status quo,” he said.

Speaking before handing over to Mr Ekere, the former NDDC Acting Managing Director, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, said the only constant thing in life was change, adding, “The good thing about a relay race, is that all those running are set to achieve one goal.”

She thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving her the privilege to serve the Niger Delta region and the country and also described the new board as a crack team of tried, tested and distinguished gentlemen.