Communities Will Choose Projects, NDDC Boss Tells Monarchs

NV News

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has assured traditional rulers that the commission will allow various communities to choose development projects for their areas.

According to a statement made available to newsmen by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Pius Ughakpoteni noted that Ogbuku stated this at the 13th Extraordinary General Assembly of the Forum of Monarchs in the South South in Asaba, anchored on the theme: ”Strengthening Collaboration for Development in the South South Region: the Role of the Traditional Institution.”

The NDDC boss said that communities had the right to decide which projects would be more beneficial to their people, noting that the traditional institution remained a revered and the highest decision making body in every community in the country.

He said that collaboration with the traditional institution would help to deepen development in the region by addressing the needs of the people, adding that every appointee and elected representative from the region, should present account of their stewardship to the traditional institution.

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Ogbuku said the commission had adopted the triple “T” policy, which translates to “Transiting from Transaction to Transformation”, as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

He observed: “The traditional institution is the best institution to collaborate with when it comes to development. This is because when it comes to governance, the traditional institution is the original foundation of governance.

He said that for the traditional rulers to have called all the stakeholders to a meeting to collaborate to develop the region, was very instructive, stating; “For us in NDDC, we believe in such collaborations. If it was not there before, right now, we are trying to implement collaboration for sustainable development.

” We started with our 2024 budget, we thought we had to start with Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) conference which took place in Uyo in 2023.
“Every strata, including the traditional rulers were represented to discuss the budget.

We felt that was the right way to go instead of dictating what to do for the people, the people should rather dictate what we should do for them.

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“This forum is very important to ensure that every public office holder comes here to present his account of stewardship. whatever positions we are holding, we are holding it in trust for you,” he said.

Ogbuku said that it was time for all stakeholders in the region to come together to “weave the basket” of development for the region, irrespective of position or party affiliation.
According to him, NDDC had been repositioned to address the ills of the past by building a corporate governance structure, and a database to curb the challenges of selection.

He said that the commission had engaged the KPMG to develop a corporate governance structure, to ensure transparency and effective service delivery.

He said that the Commission would build a database for youths, women, traditional rulers in all its activities to ensure development in the region.

Also speaking, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator George Akume, represented by Senator Jack Tilley-Gyado, lauded the traditional rulers for their roles in the communities. He said that if given a constitutional role, the traditional institution could bring to an end the security challenges facing the country.

He urged them to guard against further degradation of the region’s environment due to oil pollution and its attendant consequences. Akume tasked the lawmakers to ensure the assigning of roles to the traditional rulers in the constitution.
On his part, Senator Ede Dafinone, Representing Delta Central, pledged to ensure that the traditional institution was strengthened and assigned a role in the constitution.

Also speaking, Senator Joel Onowakpo-Thomas, Representing Delta South, lamented the poor turnout of stakeholders from the region at the event.
He called on elected and appointed politicians to account for their stewardship, and advised traditional rulers to create liaison offices for greater collaboration and unity.

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