Minister advises new NDDC board to adhere to relevant laws

The Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Okon Umana has advised the newly constituted board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC to adhere strictly to the provisions of the act that established it in the year 2000.

He added that strict adherence to the act would help the board understand fully its roles and duties as well as guard it against deviating from the vision establishing the commission.

In his inaugural remarks at a two-day retreat for the new board members held on Friday at the Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, with the theme “NDDC: Making a Difference,” the minister also tasked them to follow the Public Procurement Act 2007 with due diligence and transparency.

He said: “I want you to focus on and interrogate on the following areas in order to enhance the effectiveness of the board. These areas include the Establishment Act of the NDDC 2000, the roles of management and board, the Public Procurement Act 2007 and all the extant laws applicable to public governance as well as any other issue about the performance of the board.”

While expressing hope that the new board would bring a “new lease of life to people of Niger Delta,” the Minister urged the board to set a template that would help to actualize that.

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, said the board is expected to do something different so as to take the Niger Delta region to greater heights.”

Ogbuku said the new board has a template for a sustainable programme for youths and every citizen of the region and assured that the commission would endeavour to create partnerships with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other stakeholders through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.

His words: “We will soon unfold our packages for the development of the region. The Niger Delta Development Commission Board is expected to make [a] great difference this time around.”

Meanwhile, the NDDC board had paid a courtesy visit to the governor of the state, Mr Udom Emmanuel where he charged the NDDC leadership to effectively support the states of the Niger Delta region in their development efforts, regretting that this had not been the case in the past.

The NDDC Board Chairman, Mrs Lauretta Onochie in her response, said that the commission was determined to partner with the governors of the Niger Delta region to ensure that oil-producing states enjoyed sustainable development.

Onochie said that the current NDDC Board is set to do things differently and will operate according to the Act setting up the NDDC for the good of the people of the Niger Delta region.

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