US Consulate, NDDC strategise for Niger Delta development
. Senator Ndoma-Egba says commission has mandate to engage stakeholders
By Michael Jegede (Abuja)
The United States Consulate in Nigeria says it would continue to discuss and work with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to strengthen collaboration on strategies to improve peace and security, in order to facilitate sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the NDDC management at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Political and Economic Consul, Mr. Osman Tat, who represented the United States Consul General in Lagos, F. John Bray, said one of the primary goals of the US mission is to support Nigeria’s economic development.
The American delegation earlier held a strategic meeting with the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere and the Chairman of the Commission’s Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba (SAN), on plans to drive the regional development process.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by the NDDC Chairman’s Special Assistant on Communication, Mrs. Clara Braide, the US envoy explained that the meeting with the agency’s leadership was part of the regular consultations undertaken by US Consulate in Lagos and the Embassy in Abuja. He said that the Consulate recognises the fact that NDDC has a large number of projects spread across the nine States of oil-producing region in Nigeria.
Osman Tat said, “It is important to consult with the Board and Management of NDDC, in order to get the sense of how the projects are being executed to develop the region”.
His words, “We have looked at several projects being executed by NDDC and the ones they intend to undertake in the future.
“We had a fruitful discussion with the NDDC on projects implementation. Therefore, we are interested in seeing that the projects and developmental activities are well executed for the benefit of the people in that region”.
He affirmed, “NDDC is at the nexus of development. Its projects cut across different sectors, ranging from healthcare to education and infrastructure. These projects are necessary to ensure peace and security in Niger Delta.
“It is the interest of United States to see free, fair, transparent and non-violent election in Nigeria by 2019.”
Responding, the Board Chairman, Senator Ndoma-Egba said that NDDC is at the heart of Niger Delta, noting that the Commission has the mandate to develop the region by engaging key stakeholders.
Senator Ndoma-Egba emphasized the need for an enduring peace in the Niger Delta, stating that security is critical for growth and development.
He noted that NDDC, being an interventionist agency has no role to play in partisan politics. “We are only interested in ensuring that there is peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta region. And the only way we could achieve that is by bringing projects and development to the region,” Ndoma-Egba said.
(Michael Jegede is a media professional in Abuja)