· Demand for timeline for payment of contractors
By Our Reporter
Stakeholders in the oil region want deeper engagement with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The stakeholders have thus charged the Commission to entrench collaboration and partnership in the development of the Niger Delta region by holding quarterly Partners for Sustainable Development (PSD) fora for the various stages of its budgeting.
According to a statement by the new Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr Pius Ughakpoteni, this was part of the resolutions contained in a communique issued at the end of a two-day PSD Forum, 2024 Budget of Reconstruction Conference Held at Ibom Icon Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The stakeholders also stressed the importance of the PSD forum in the budgetary process, noting: “The forum is aimed at eliminating duplications and institutional suspicions in the development process; reducing the incidence of working at cross purposes as well as reducing wastage of scarce resources allocated for regional development initiatives by all stakeholders.”
The stakeholders further resolved that the NDDC should focus on projects that would benefit the people of the region, stating: “The Commission should strike a balance between meeting the political demands and serving the people of the region by executing people centric projects.”
According to the communique, from the presentations, group discussions at the conference, it was agreed thus: “The NDDC should operate a lean budget that will allow and enable her to commence and complete projects within a certain and realistic budget cycle.”
It said further: “For the 2025 Budget, less of new projects should be captured in order to ensure the quick completion of all ongoing projects under the 2024 budget.”
The communique posited that the budget of the Commission should have a spread to cover the several ethnic nationalities and communities in the Niger Delta region.
The stakeholders commended the executive management of the NDDC for resuscitating the PSD forum, which was last held in 2016 and advised the Commission to maintain a timeline for the payment of contractors.