The Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) on behalf of the Federal Government and Atlanta Global Resources Inc, have signed a $15billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide railway locomotives and construct rail lines in the nine oil producing states in Nigeria comprising Delta, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Edo, Ondo and Abia States.
The MoU signing was done yesterday in Lagos at the Commission’s Public, Private Partnership (PPP) 2023 Summit with the theme: Rewind to Rebirth. Delivering a keynote speech, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, told participants at the summit about what the management of the Local Content Board, had achieved through due diligence, accountability and transparency in its public private partnership (PPP).
Wabote who spoke on “Innovative Funding and Sustainable Development for Niger Delta, said without discipline, sound management and leadership, no meaningful achievement would be recorded. “Without sound management and leadership, investors would run away”. There must be due diligence, accountability and transparency if we must make any positive impact. NDDC must prove that they’re indeed rebirthing.”
He maintained that nobody should accuse another over the problems that bedeviled the Commission over the years. “We are all culprits in the problems that rocked the Commission. Now, it must deploy necessary provisions of NDDC Act to get results. As starters, we must be also be finisher. More importantly, we must engage indigenous competent contractors.”
For his part, the Managing Director /CEO of the Commission, Samuel Ogbuku, assured that the future of the Commission remains bright saying, “We can transform the future of NDDC to give the people a better life. The ongoing projects shall be followed with due diligence.” Also speaking, Senator Amos Kilawangs, said the National Assembly would give the Commission unalloyed support. “With the new sheriff in town, we shall do more than oversight function and give full support.”
Senator – elect, Adams Oshiomhole, said the problems of NDDC could be attached to ‘goal displacement’ however, it was high time political leaders begun to do what they promised. “We must say no to power whenever power is misused. Things get bad when we say ‘yes where we are supposed to say ‘no’. And NDDC budget must follow the normal budget cycle.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Okon Umana, sued for a committed management and leadership of the commission if the ugly narratives associated with the commission would be a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, stakeholders pushed for the establishment of NDDC bank, according to them, the bank would help curb financial mismanagement and promote accountability, transparency and prudence. They also maintained that lack of sincerity and political will to prosecute projects, policies and programs have been killing the commission, called on the management to be brave and assertive in decisions.