The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has promised to collaborate with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in addressing the challenges of developing the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a courtesy call at the Government House, Uyo, by the members of the NDDC Governing Board, Governor Emmanuel said that the state government was willing to work with the Commission to bring development to “our region, which produces the oil resources of the nation.”
The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, commended the members of the Board for seeking to partner with the Government of Akwa Ibom State, noting that cooperation and collaboration was the way to go.
The NDDC team was led by its Chairman, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie and accompanied by the Managing Director, Chief Dr. Samuel Ogbuku; Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Maj-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd); Executive Director, Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola, as well as other Directors of the Commission.
The Governor told the visiting NDDC delegation that: ” We expect collaboration and not confrontation from the new board. It is soothing to see you here, we will work with you and support the NDDC Governing Board. We appreciate your coming here today. The NDDC is, perhaps, the messiah that has come to erase the shame of the Federal Government which has no presence, in terms of projects, in Akwa Ibom State.
“Leading the NDDC is a big challenge. I, therefore, expect members of the board to step up to tackle the challenges and change the narrative in the region.”
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.
Earlier in her remarks, the NDDC Chairman, Mrs. Onochie, said that the Commission was determined to partner with the governors of the Niger Delta region to ensure that the oil-producing states enjoyed sustainable development.
Onochie said that the current NDDC Board was set to do things differently and would operate according to the Act setting up the NDDC for the good of the people of the Niger Delta region.
She stressed: “We are here to seek your support. It is noteworthy that the State Governor is a member of the NDDC Advisory Board. We will always come to seek your advice. We plead with all stakeholders to refrain from putting pressure on us to do the wrong things.”
Speaking further, Onochie added that The NDDC will be non-partisan, irrespective of political affiliations. “We are here to work for the good of everyone in the Niger Delta region.”