The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, has expressed optimism that the new governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will make positive impact on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region.
Umana gave the assurance on Friday while declaring open a three-day NDDC Board and Management Retreat at the Ibom Icon Hotels and Golf Resort in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
“I trust that this new board, made up of experienced professionals, will not fail, especially with the confidence reposed in them,” the Minister stated before he formally declared the Retreat open.
On the importance of the event, Umana divulged that the three days retreat was meant to equip the Board and Management with relevant information to play their various roles to ensure that the NDDC lives up to its mandate of fast-tracking the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Reminding the board members that Niger Deltans and Nigerians were looking up to them to make a difference, Umana urged them to ensure the Management Retreat was used to discuss and address issues around the NDDC Act, the Public Procurement Act and other key issues bordering on accountability and transparency.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku assured that the Governing Board was set to take the Commission to greater heights, stating: “We will soon roll out plans for developing the Niger Delta region. We will explore new areas of partnerships.”
Dr. Ogbuku observed that the Commission recently inaugurated a committee on Public, Private Partnership, PPP, charged with exploring sustainable relationships which will impact positively on the people of the region.
According to him, “The PPP Committee is expected to review all the Commission’s existing partnerships as well as explore new partnerships that will result in enduring regional projects.”
The NDDC boss said that the Committee will “identify, pursue and secure alternative sources of funding for the Commission’s projects and programmes,” as well as “draw up and adopt projects and programmes funding templates.”