The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has called on development partners and donor agencies to close the gaps in sustainable development in the Niger Delta region through the coordination of development interventions for improved effectiveness and impact.
Managing Director/CEO of the Commission, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, made the call during a one-day Policy Dialogue With Development Partners and Donor Agencies held on Thursday in Abuja.
FRONTVIEW AFRICA reports that the theme of dialogue is titled: “Deepening Governance through transparency and value-added partnership.
Chief Ogbuku noted that commission is currently faced with inadequate funding to facilitate rapid, even and sustainable development in the Niger Delta region, hence the need for partnership.
“We are here to appeal to you to consider the Niger Delta as your own. For donor agencies, we say, support us. For the development partners, we say join us to complete ongoing major projects. NDDC alone cannot develop the Niger Delta. We need more funding. We need support.” He said.
Other challenges affecting the effectiveness of the NDDC according to the MD, are the frequent changes in the leadership of the Commision, consistent delays in the passage of its budget by the National Assembly, amongst other.
He noted that in spite of these challenges, the Commision was able to execute no fewer than 7000 capital projects valued at N1.663 trillion in addition to the 3,251 ongoing projects valued at N1.5 trillion.
He, however, noted that the Commision under his watch has reorganized its internal administration and cooperate governance to eliminate bottle necks and enhance effective service delivery.
Chief Ogbuku, further, assured the development partners of adequate security, proper standard and utilization of the donor funds as well as the political will to execute its mandate for the benefits of the people in the region.
Earlier, NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola, lamented over the scale of infrastructural deficiency and human development gap in the Niger Delta region.
He said: “We realize that we cannot do this alone. So, we decided to look at other ways to address the deficiencies. This is the next in the series of meetings we will have with partners, to help us drive our agenda for the Niger Delta. On coming on board, we resolved that we must make a difference. I enjoin you to listen, let us reason together as you figure out how you want to partner with us in the great task ahead.”
In their separate remarks, development partners from the World Bank, UNDP, EU, British High Commission, Mac-Arthur Foundation amongst others pledged continuous partnership with the Commision in offering a lasting solution to the socioeconomic difficulties of the Niger Delta region.