The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, has issued a compelling call to action, urging all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to unite and confront the complex challenges facing their communities.
Ogbuku made this clarion call during a momentous meeting held at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, where he welcomed a delegation from the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, on a solidarity visit.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer reiterated the foundational principle of inclusiveness, underscoring the Commission’s mandate to foster sustainable development across all communities within the nine states comprising the Niger Delta region.
He articulated, “NDDC is for the nine states of the Niger Delta region, meaning I am here to work in the interest of the nine states of the region. No matter your ethnic group in the Niger Delta region, we all face the same challenges. Therefore, we must all work together to address our challenges.”
He said: “All Niger Deltans must be accommodating and work in harmony to drive the process of development for the well-being of our people. I was not appointed to look back or shift blames. I was appointed to look forward to fix the problems in the region.”
This commitment to inclusiveness is not only regional but also aligns with the global vision of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ogbuku emphasised that regardless of ethnicity, the people of the Niger Delta are bound by common challenges, including underdevelopment and ecological issues, which he said the Commission was, more than ever before, poised to tackle. He emphasized: “Regardless of our ethnicity, we are all related and we face common challenges. These challenges, like underdevelopment and ecological problems, bring us all together.”
To accelerate progress and address the persistent underdevelopment in the region, Ogbuku revealed the Commission’s adoption of a robust Public-Private Partnership, PPP, strategy to fund major projects. This approach entails collaborative efforts with corporate organizations and state governments in the Niger Delta region. He shared: “We are actively engaged in solar power projects to contribute to the fight against climate change. Our goal is to electrify every community using solar energy, while also seeking to recover carbon credits through our projects.”
Highlighting strategic partnerships, Ogbuku announced critical collaborations with key stakeholders, including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Limited, aimed at revitalizing essential projects such as the Bonny Ring Road, Okrika-Borokiri Road, and Sampou-Sabagrigha-Ulako Road and Bridge projects. These initiatives resonate with the SDGs, focusing on infrastructure development and environmental sustainability.
He said: “Recently, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, and through that partnership, we intend to revive the Bonny Ring Road project which was stalled for many years. The Okrika-Borokiri Road and bridge project is also being revived in partnership with the Rivers State Government. Similarly, in Bayelsa State, we are partnering with the Bayelsa State Government on the Sampou-Sabagrigha-Ulako Road and Bridge project.”
In an earlier address, the President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Sir Jonathan Lokpobiri, acknowledged the NDDC’s progress under Dr. Ogbuku’s leadership. He noted: “The NDDC may not have reached where it is supposed to be but the NDDC is far from where it used to be.”
He congratulated the NDDC Managing Director on his re-appointment to the Commission’s Board, commending his exemplary leadership. Lokpobiri appealed to the Federal Government to fulfill its financial obligations to the NDDC, recognizing the Commission as the primary driver of sustainable development in the Niger Delta region.