April 13, 2024

N’Delta groups appreciate Tinubu for reconstitution of NDDC board

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N’Delta groups appreciate Tinubu for reconstitution of NDDC board

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

A coalition of leaders of stakeholder groups across the Niger Delta region has expressed appreciation to President Bola Tinubu for the prompt reconstitution of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The position of the group is contained in a Nov letter of appreciation addressed to President Tinubu.

The letter was signed by Sen. Emmanuel Ibok Essien, National Chairman, Pan Niger Delta Forum, and Prof. Benjamin Okaba, Chief Timi. K. Ogoriba, founder of the Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta amongst others.

The group which cuts across the ethnic nationalities and leadership of professional groups noted that the action of the President has brought the stability required for the development of the region.

The coalition recalled that on July 5, 2023, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led a cross-section of Presidents of Ethnic Nationalities, stakeholders and leaders of professional bodies in the Niger Delta, shortly after the dissolution of statutory boards appealed for stability in the NDDC leadership.

According to the group, the request was made during a solidarity visit to the Management team of the NDDC, as the entire Niger Delta spoke with one voice concerning the NDDC Board.

The group noted that a stable NDDC board and management team with people of impeccable character was the only panacea for the development of the region.

They noted that Tinubu’s strategy that retained the management team at NDDC led by Dr Samuel Ogbuku to continue serving the people through the appointment of a substantive board was apt and effective.

“Your Excellency Sir, in our solidarity address on that day, we eulogized you copiously on the different paths you toed, specifically on the NDDC, unlike the past where the policy and management structures were entirely uprooted; leaving the commission in the hands of opportunist and scavengers who were unaccountable to the people; neither fulfilled the objectives of the commission.

“Sir, we extended our profound thanks to you for the wisdom displayed in retaining the Management Team led by Dr. Samuel Ogbuku which had exhibited notable competency within the short period; prior to its dissolution.

“We also appealed to you with one strong voice not to delay in reconstituting the new Board, and true to type, and as a listening leader, you hearkened to the voice of the Niger Delta people and, in no time, you graciously constituted the new NDDC Board,” the letter read in part.

The coalition noted that the gesture by Tinubu has given them high hopes for the future of the Niger Delta under the watch of a listening president.

“Also, the new Chairman Barr. Chiedu Ebie is known for his enormous wealth of experience, a former Commissioner and later Secretary to the Delta State Government, key player in the oil and gas sector with credible antecedents as one who cares about the development of the region.

“The Managing Director/ CEO Dr. Samuel Ogbuku who was reappointed is changing the narratives; taking into cognizance his diverse policies to bring about sustainable partnership, engender global best practices and corporate governance in a bid to reposition the Commission for global business acceptability, robust public-private partnerships.

“Such include a partnership with Chevron and other multinationals on citing tangible projects in the Niger Delta, partnership with KPMG for global best practices, corporate governance, signing of a pact with NLNG to maximize the impact of development in Niger Delta, etc,” the group stated.

The group noted that Ogbuku has already demonstrated that he is a round peg in a round hole and has been deepening stakeholders’ engagement in line with his commitment to the President and the people of the region.

They expressed happiness with NDDC’s efforts in promoting the federal government’s developmental agenda on one hand, rekindling the hope and confidence of the people, as well as uniting ethnic nationalities towards regional cohesion.

“Similarly, concerning the other personalities on the new Board, from hindsight and checks, we can categorically say, we have a good team in the saddle as they look flawless to us and we pray they don’t yield to the trappings, niceties and the appurtenances of the office and other negative corrupt influences in the future.

“We, therefore, without equivocation say thank you, Mr. President, for giving the Niger Delta people, and indeed the Niger Delta region, a purposeful Board and Management team,” the group stated.

The group noted the support and cooperation of the Senate President, Sen Godswill Akpabio, who made the screening process seamless but with dexterity.

The group also drew Tinubu’s attention to the unremitted funds due to the NDDC over the years from both the public and private sectors and regretted that this has greatly hindered the Commission from achieving its set objectives.

They also appealed to the President to intervene to make the NDDC buoyant to execute its obligations to the Niger Delta people.

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