The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Affairs, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, (CON), has charged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to explore collaborative partnership with other Agencies permitted by law as alternative sources of funding.
Senator Akpabio, gave the charge when he paid a working visit to the Headquarters of NDDC, on 20th September, 2019 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Minister urged the Commission to imbibe the culture of adherence to due process, international best practices and commitment to the welfare of the people of the Niger Delta region.
He also called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to drastically curtail its procurement activities by reducing the number of new projects and programmes, because, according to him “the ongoing 12 thousand projects by the Commission are facing funding challenges”.
The Minister said the Commission must put a mechanism in place to re-evaluate the viability of some of these projects and programmes, prioritize them, and complete them immediately for the benefit of the people. Adding that the Commission should ensure equitable distribution of projects among the nine States in the region.
Akpabio, directed that the Commission must commence some legacy projects in each of the nine State of the Niger Delta, ensure regular funding, close monitoring and supervision that will bring about prompt delivery so as to have lasting impact in the region.
Speaking further, the Minister promised to put a mechanism in place to determine the actual liabilities of the Commission and the total number of ongoing projects and programmes. He also charged the Commission to ensure they move to their Headquarters next year.
Senator Akpabio called on the Commission to have a well-structured fund development regime and also charged them to motivate the staff, so as to put in their best in projects monitoring and evaluation.
Earlier, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Dr. Mrs. Enyia Akwagaga, disclosed that the Commission is driving a partnership to grow Agribusiness, in the focal states of the Commission that will target about ten (10) local government areas in each state with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD).
She also said that the programme Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Project in the Niger Delta, LIFE-ND is bringing about $129.2 Million to the table and that the huge amount will be invested in the collaboration which stands to boost food production and empower the vulnerable rural population to drive their own economy.
Mrs. Enyia lamented that as an Interventionist Agency whose mandate is the development of the Niger Delta region, they are bothered that they have been cast in a certain negative stereotype, where everybody sees NDDC funds as “our money”.
She assured the Minister, that the Commission will move to its Headquarters in June 2020.
(Press & Public Relations)
Friday 20th, September.