The Bayelsa State Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, have agreed to partner on key infrastructure projects for the benefit of the people of the state. Speaking when he hosted the NDDC Interim Administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa, and the Commission’s directors at Government House, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, harped on the need for synergy between the interventionist agency and states in the Niger Delta region.
He stated: “Today marks the beginning of a new relationship between the NDDC and the Bayelsa State Government. We are prepared to work with the NDDC. I accept your offer to partner with the Bayelsa State Government on key, strategic projects in the State.
“Let me thank you for your intervention in our universities, especially for assisting the Niger Delta University and donating a 1000KVA generator and a Coaster bus. Some people are asking for the scrapping of NDDC. I am sure they don’t understand what it means to do that. We should rather be calling for NDDC to be made more functional, so that it can fulfill its mandate.”
He stressed: “The only way the NDDC can be effective and contribute to the development of the region is by ensuring that a substantive Board is set up to respond to the needs of the people of the region.”
The Governor acknowledged that NDDC had embarked on many projects in Bayelsa State and underlined the need to focus more on regional projects that would cut across the various States.
He remarked: “Let me acknowledge your acceptance to partner with us on the execution of he Nembe/Brass Road. From the reports I have received, we have over 1,700 projects across the State.”
Diri futher stated that the NDDC remains the pride of the Niger Delta region. While noting that, “As State Governors, we have a very big stake in the NDDC. I don’t believe in the scrapping of the NDDC rather the NDDC should work with the State Governments of the Niger Delta States.”
“We are prepared to work with the NDDC as long as it follows the constitution of Nigeria and the NDDC ACT 2000 because collaborating with NDDC will create a lasting impression for our people and for generations to come
“We need to ensure synergy and avoid duplication of projects. This can be achieved by activating the powers of the Governors as members of the Advisory Board in line with Section 2 of the Act establishing the NDDC.”
Speaking earlier, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa commended Governor Duoye Diri for his immense contributions to the overall development of the Niger Delta region especially Bayelsa State noting that the Governor’s legendary contributions to the development of the Niger Delta region did not begin overnight but began many years ago. “It is on record that Your Excellency was a part of many Niger Delta technocrats, agitators and visioners who developed an agenda for a better deal for the Niger Delta region, in the emerging democracy of 1998 and 1999. There is no gainsaying the fact that this agenda, in many ways, played defining and definitive roles in the creation, in 2000 by an Act of the National Assembly, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. Your Excellency, this commitment towards building a new Niger Delta, as well as improving the living conditions of Bayelsans, has earned you the enviable title of the Miracle Governor.”
Akwa disclosed that the NDDC delegation was in Bayelsa State to partner with the State Government and people of Bayelsa State, noting: “The NDDC remains committed to providing quality infrastructure and supporting the people of the Niger Delta region to realise their full potentials. The NDDC is here to handover Waste Disposal trucks as well as donate a 1000KVA generator and a brand new Coaster bus to the Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State. The NDDC has in the past supported youths in our Universities.”
The NDDC boss assured that the Commission is willing to partner with the government of Bayelsa State to carry out projects such as the Nembe-Brass Road.
Akwa said that the visit was part of ongoing engagement with important stakeholders of the Niger Delta region, adding: “This is important, because partnership is key to development.”
Speaking further, he stated that, “Our visit is both to acknowledge your strategic importance to Niger Delta development, as well as to seek ways in which we can forge a stronger alliance with the government and people of Bayelsa State. We offer both our hands and seek embrace, so that, together, we can build a region of which we can be eminently proud.”
Source: Niger Delta Development Commission