By Okon Bassey
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has advised the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to insulate its programmes from political influences.
Emmanuel gave the advice when the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Akwa, paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Uyo.
He called on the commission to collaborate with various state governments and stakeholders in the region in order to achieve the objectives of establishing the NDDC.
Emmanuel maintained that collaborations between the NDDC and the state governments in the region remained essential ingredients of bringing meaningful development to the Niger delta.
He said: “We came into government with a blue print and we have not deviated from it. At every angle we define where we are going to. We walk with definitions; as we entered second term we said we have a completion agenda and we are following that agenda religiously. At every point in time, things must walk in line with our blueprint.”
The governor thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for finding an indigene of the state worthy of the appointment into the NDDC top office.
He equally lauded the new NDDC boss’ effort to synergise with state governors and stakeholders in the region.
“There is nothing as good as sitting down to discuss. We are not enemies in anyway. We should be partners in progress.
“The NDDC is for our region, we should benefit from it. If we don’t benefit from it we have not achieved the purpose,” the governor stressed.
The governor pledged the commitment of his administration to partner with the commission and called on sister-states governors and stakeholders to embrace the new phase of synergy.
Emmanuel appealed to the NDDC to revisit abandoned projects in the Akwa Ibom State, including the $20 million transmission line project from Ikot Abasi through Ekparakwa to link with Aba.
Earlier, the Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Akwa, described his visit to the state as home coming.
Akwa disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s has approved the official inauguration of the NDDC Headquarters in the Marine Base, Port Harcourt, on February 25, 2020.
He said that Buhari is particularly concerned about the development of the Niger Delta region and has given his team a charge in that direction.
He also declared that the era of the NDDC embarking on projects without a working relationship with relevant state governments is over.
Akwa said the visit is an acknowledgement of the governor’s strategic role in the development of the region and to seek stronger alliance with the government and people of the state.
He lauded the industrialisation drive and commitment of Emmanuel’s administration to building social infrastructures as key to sustainable physical infrastructural development. He also commended the state-owned airline, Ibom Air, for its trademark of quality.