Niger Delta Summit: Roadmap Towards Addressing the Region’s Underdevelopment

By Austine Unoarumi

The thought of convening a class of politicians, traditional rulers/community leaders and technocrats, to say the least, critical stakeholders to extensively deliberate on pertinent issues such as that of deprivation and degradation, poverty, youth restiveness and unemployment is no doubt a welcome development as it signifies a leadership endowed with sound intellectual agility, deep passion and political will.

In less than two years, the leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under Chief Samuel Ogbuku has persistently worked towards the “betterment” of the Niger Delta region. 

As evidently observed overtime, these efforts of threading the path can lead to even and sustainable development in the face of challenges and backlash from fifth columnists, pessimists and detractors managers of the present NDDC from this laudable focus.

Suffice it to state that the commitment of the NDDC towards uplifting the region from the doldrums of neglect may not be unconnected with the contributions of the South-south region to the nation’s economy.

This context underscores the timeliness and importance of the summit organized by the NDDC, an interventionist agency established by the Federal Government in 2000 with the mantra “making a difference”.

The national stakeholders summit themed: ‘Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta’ aims to bring together key stakeholders across the country that believed that the arithmetic of two plus two equals four is not enough to achieve transformative success, but those that also believe in the logic that the figures before and after four must be meaningfully studied and given its proper place for a region that is begging for strategic result – oriented inputs, that could only be achieved through research-based interventions. 

That is to say, these stakeholders recognized that radical transformation requires not just basic arithmetic, but a deeper understanding of the factors influencing development. The NDDC has always been on the verge of improving the standard of living of the people with laudable programmes initiated and projects executed in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, whose concern is a developed Niger Delta, and NDDC cannot afford to disappoint the President and Commandant in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria    

This summit, being a strategic one, would exemplify a difference with the calibre of personalities expected to dig deep and unearth issues, ideas, as well as proffer long lasting solution capable of fast-tracking the region’s development.

As the three-day summit unfolds, it is expected to rejuvenate and reshape the Niger Delta narrative, instilling hope and enthusiasm to the admiration of the nation  and entire globe.

* Mr. Unoarumi, a journalist, writes from Port Harcourt

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