Chairman of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, has pledged that the Commission will initiate projects and programmes to empower women and youths in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Ijaw Community in Abuja and Northern Nigeria at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Onochie stated that the Governing Board of the NDDC was determined to change the narrative in the Niger Delta region.
According to her: “We are here to empower our people as part of NDDC’s sustainable development programmes. We are not going to be throwing money at stakeholders as a means of addressing challenges facing the Niger Delta region.”
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The NDDC Chairman commended the association for being proactive in their efforts to alleviate the challenges facing rural communities in the Niger Delta region, especially the women. She said: “I am impressed to see bridge builders here. They are changing the narrative. We will work with you and get everyone involved in our activities.”
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Ijaw Association in Abuja and Northern Nigeria, Hon. Alagba Ebifemowei, stated that the association was focused on building bridges between the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. “Our interest is to seek empowerment programmes that will help the rural women in the Niger Delta.”
He said further: “Our goal is to build peaceful coexistence among Nigerians. Most of the projects in the Niger Delta target only men, neglecting rural women in the region. Our programmes must include women and that is why we have been focusing on building the capacity of women in the rural communities.”
Ebifemowei, who said that the association was ready to partner with the NDDC to empower rural women, presented the group’s proposals for sustainable development to the NDDC Chairman.
Speaking in the same vein, another member of the group, Mrs. Gladys Ogbonna, appealed to the
NDDC to initiate programmes that would help to lift Niger Delta women out of poverty. “Empower us to be useful to our children and the entire Niger Delta,” she pleaded.