Akwa Ibom Gov lauds NDDC’s inclusive approach, says ‘we are not enemies’

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Governors of the Niger Delta zone have started turning with warmth toward the Niger Delta development Commission (NDDC) since the newly appointed Sole Administrator, Effiong Akwa, took over one month ago.

The first was Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who said the governors have decided to rally round the NDDC under Akwa. He however showed pain over past neglect of the governors.

Now, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has lauded the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for engaging major stakeholders to enlist their collaboration in addressing the challenges of developing the Niger Delta region.

The governor gave the commendation while receiving a delegation of directors led by the NDDC Interim Administrator, Efiong Akwa, to pay him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Uyo.

Governor Emmanuel urged the NDDC to continue with its inclusive approach to development, noting that the Commission would achieve more by working in partnership with all the stakeholders.

He noted: “There is nothing as good as sitting down to discuss issues. We are not enemies and we should be partners in progress.”

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Akwa as the Interim Administrator of the NDDC with the recommendation of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

He said further: “We also want to inform President that we have capable hands that can serve as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, since we produce 36.1 per cent of the oil and gas reserves in Nigeria. We have the human resources to do a lot more things for the country.”

Governor Emmanuel promised to support the NDDC’s Interim Administrator and advised him to put things in place to ensure corporate governance in the Commission. “We expect that with your private sector experience, you will make a difference,” he said.

The governor assured of the preparedness of the state government to partner with NDDC because the Commission had shown readiness to work with Akwa Ibom State. He advised: “Make use of the opportunity you have now and leave a legacy in the region no matter how short the time of your administration will be”.

Emmanuel urged the NDDC to complete the power transmission line from Ikot-Abasi through Ikparakwa by linking it to Alaoji Power Station in Aba. “That power line could have eased a lot of power problems in this region. It will help us to evacuate a whole lot of power from Ibom Power Station to the National grid and that will help the entire region,” he said.

He thanked the NDDC for donating six waste disposal trucks and bins to assist the state in maintaining a clean environment, adding: ”We appreciate that support because I believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

Earlier in his address, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer told Governor Emmanuel that his visit was part of the Commission’s continuing engagement with stakeholders of the Niger Delta region. He stated: “When I was appointed just about sixty days ago, the President and Commander-in-Chief charged me with, among other things, facilitating a stronger collaboration with, and building a more vigorous partnership among relevant stakeholders in the region.

“To facilitate the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta one of the key prescriptions of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is partnership.”

Akwa applauded Governor Emmanuel for “demonstrating a strong belief in the Niger Delta project.” According to him, the governor brought the enterprise spirit, expertise and culture to bear in governance.

He remarked: “You have shown the importance of building social infrastructures as a key component of building physical infrastructures, by building industries that would not only boost the state’s economy, but help in creating jobs for teeming Akwa Ibom people.

“Our visit is both to acknowledge your strategic importance to Niger Delta development, as well as to seek ways in which we can forge a stronger alliance with the government and people of Akwa Ibom State. In all these, we remain committed to providing projects and programmes of enduring quality. After so many years of underdevelopment, the people of this great region deserve no less.

“We do not know it all. That is why we have come here, to listen to you, to pledge to work with you, as a strategic leader of our region, towards ensuring that what we do, for instance, in Akwa Ibom State in the discharge of our mandate, meets your approval and enjoys your cooperation. The past practice where the Commission undertook projects and programmes in the states, without first building a working coalition with the states governments, to integrate our plans, policies, projects and programmes into the state government’s overall master plan, is over.”

He informed the governor of the commissioning of the new NDDC Headquarters complex, in Marine Base, Port Harcourt on February 25, 2021, noting that it was accomplished under the supervision of Senator Akpabio.

The Interim Administrator later presented keys to six waste disposal trucks to the Akwa Ibom State Government to assist the government in its efforts to improve the sanitary conditions in the state.

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