Summit’ll develop new strategies for Niger Delta development –NDDC boss

Mr. Samuel Ogbuku, managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said the Niger Delta stakeholders’ summit, billed for between July 10 and 13 will develop strategies for economic growth and development of the region.

He gave the assurance during an interview with newsmen at NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, saying the summit would serve as a platform to articulate a roadmap for sustainable development of the Niger Delta.

The NDDC chief executive officer remarked that stakeholders’ engagement was one of the cardinal points in the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

He said: “The importance of stakeholders’ engagement is to ensure projects and activities of the government are well understood by the people.”

He emphasised the need to give the people opportunities for conversations to discuss development plans to ensure they keyed into the renewed hope for sustainable development and support the programmes and activities of the government.

Ogbuku said further: “The plans for renewed hope have to be tailor-made. Hence, the people must participate in the process. Moreover, the democracy we are practicing today is a participatory democracy where you must bring the leadership and followers together for proper understanding of policies and programmes.

“Renewed hope means touching lives. This government is out to touch lives. Bringing the people under one roof in the Niger Delta is to let them know what the renewed hope for sustainable development is all about and how beneficial it is for the region.”

Ogbuku said President Tinubu had charged the NDDC to complete and commission signature projects that would impact on  the lives of Niger Deltans.

He said, following this directive, the commission recently inaugurated five flagship projects, covering roads, bridges and electricity, across the region.

He listed the projects as follows: “The 9km Obehie-Oke-Ikpe Road in Ukwa West council, Abia State; the 25.7 kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State; the 1×15MVA 33/11KV electricity injection substation in Amufi, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area in Benin, Edo State; the 45km double-circuit 33KV feeder line from Omotosho Power Station to Okitipupa, Ondo State and the NDDC 6km Iko-Atabrikang-Akata-Opulom-Ikot Inwang-Okoroutip-Iwochang Road and 600 metres Ibeno Bridge in Ibeno council, Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking on the 2024 budget of the commission, Ogbuku said the budget was done in collaboration with major stakeholders, insisting that when approved, it would help to complete many ongoing projects spread across different communities in the region.

The managing director, who said the Federal Government was committed to tackling the under-development in Niger Delta, expressed joy over the passage of the 2024 budget by the Senate, as it would facilitate the speedy completion of ongoing projects across the region.

Commenting on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative embraced by the commission, Ogbuku attributed the completion of Ogbia-Nembe Road to the gains of partnership and said the NDDC was in talks with Chevron for partnership in the construction of the Warri-Omadino-Escravos Road to boost oil production and other economic activities in the area.

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