July 19, 2024

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As NDDC Engages Stakeholders For Region’s Development

3 min read

For about four days, beginning from July 10, 2024, stakeholders from the Niger Delta region will congregate at the Obi Wali Conference Centre, Port Harcourt for the cross fertilization of ideas towards a rapid, people-oriented and practical approach for the development of the long neglected Niger Delta region. This is courtesy of the Niger Delta Development Commission under the leadership of Dr Sam Ogbuku as managing director.

It will be the first time, in the history of the commission for such an event to be thought of, a forum where critical stakeholders will converge to brainstorm to review activities of the commission since it was established in 2000 by President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Previous managers of the commission had been accused of running parallel governments, without collaborating with the various governors whose states make up the commission.

Apart from the governors, other stakeholders, including youths and elders of the region, had accused the NDDC team of not following the provisions of the Act that established the commission, just as they accused them of abandoning the masterplan which was supposed to guide the key players on the strategic development of the region.

But the NDDC under Ogbuku appears to have taken note of the various complaints and making efforts to change the narrative, with the decision to convoke the first of its kind summit, to give opportunity to all stakeholders to come up with ideas on how to achieve the region’s comprehensive development, in line with the renewed hope mantra of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Among those expected at the summit are the nation’s president, all the nine governors of the Niger Delta, the senate president, Senator Godswill Akpabio, minister of the Niger Delta, some past leaders of the commission, oil firms, some National Assembly members, members of the civil society, the media et cetera.

For the four days, participants at the summit will be expected to undertake an overview of the Niger Delta question with a view to giving direction to the NDDC leadership on how to bring lasting succor to the people, in line with the dreams of the founding fathers of the commission.

We cannot but commend the NDDC for the thoughtfulness. It is trite that no man is an island. So, bringing the owners of the region into one hall for a round table meeting, where the challenges, prospects and new direction for the commission would be on the front burner is a move that can only be taken by a team that is ready to do things differently.

At the summit, it is expected that participants will not be restricted in their discussions. It is also expected that at the end of the summit, the resolutions will not be made to gather dust in a cupboard somewhere in the commission, as has been the case in many of such gatherings.

While we hail Ogbuku and his team for convoking the summit, we charge all participants to see this as another opportunity to correct the wrongs of the past and draw a fresh road map for the peace, development and progress of the nine Niger Delta states where the riches of the country is generated.

 That way, the common man from Abia to Ondo will have the confidence that someday soon, the Niger Delta will be properly and systematically developed and years of agonies and abandoned projects, outright neglect and conscious waste of the region’s resources would be addressed and their rights to good life finally and consistently granted.

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