The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has re-affirmed its commitment to completing
all on-going projects in the Niger Delta region and ensure that the projects help in improving the living conditions of the people.
Speaking after inspecting the canalization of Oporoza creek in Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, noted that the project would provide easy access and navigation for communities and oil companies operating in the kingdom.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, who was accompanied by the Executive Director Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola, and other directors of the commission, stated that work on all infrastructure projects would be completed.
The NDDC inspection team also paid a courtesy visit to the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, King Oboro Gbaruan II, at his palace in Oporoza.
Ogbuku identified Escravos as an area of special economic priority, stating that NDDC was taking steps to make it more accessible by rallying the support of stakeholders for a broad partnership that will expedite the construction and completion of the Warri-Omadino-Escravos Road.
He said: “We have reached out to Chevron Nigeria Limited and other stakeholders, seeking for partnership on this and other projects.
“We chose the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model as an alternative source of funding for the commission. So, we have been going about seeking funding partners to complete our current projects and also start new ones.”
The NDDC boss noted that the partnership between the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the NDDC in the construction of the 25.735-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road should be replicated for other projects.
Ogbuku told the monarch that the 2024 NDDC budget would have inputs from all major stakeholders in the region, adding that: “In our budgeting for 2024, we told our budget committee to have a stakeholder’s conference for it. The budget cannot be NDDC budget alone, it must be a budget for people of the region.”
The traditional ruler of Gbaramatu kingdom, King Oboro Gbaruan II, urged the NDDC to ensure that none of its projects was abandoned, noting that non-completion of projects was responsible for the slow pace of development in the Niger Delta region.
According to the monarch, “As traditional rulers, we are worried that development is not moving as fast as we expected. We have played our own role by ensuring that there is peace in the Niger Delta region. Having provided a peaceful environment, there should be no excuse for not developing our region.”
Earlier, in an address by the Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs, the spokesman of the kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbebekama, affirmed that the NDDC had several on-going projects which needed to be completed.
He observed: “In spite of the daunting challenges of the commission, your intervention is evident in the Niger Delta and Gbaramatu Kingdom in particular.”
Gbebekama said NDDC projects in the area include the Warri-Amadino-Okerenkoko road, the Seitorububou-Kurutie-Ubafan road and bridges, canalization of Oporoza Creek, the reclamation and sand-filling of Benikurukuru community, among others.
The chiefs appealed to the NDDC to adequately fund the projects to ensure that they were completed for the benefit of the people, stating: “The NDDC was created to attend to the peculiar developmental needs of the Niger Delta region.”