May 20, 2024

 

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”
~ Jonas Salk

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is a Federal Government Agency established by Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on June 5th, 2000 with the sole mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria, having been ladened with poor leadership at different times which has led to the underdevelopment of the Niger Delta Region for almost 23 years after its creation.

The commission, having received a whooping 15 Trillion Naira (40 billion USD) in the past 22 years was at a stalemate as even the commission’s heads that had good vision couldn’t properly function because of interference from “External Forces “. Boards, Interim Admins, and Acting Managing Directors have come and gone with little or no impact on the lives of ordinary Niger Delta Citizens.

Towards the end of 2022, President Buhari kept true to his promise to constitute a Board before the end of his tenure, he sent names for Screening and confirmation to the Nigerian Senate and after a month plus, the Senate confirmed the appointments as made by the Nigerian President.

On the 4th of January, Mr. President through the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana Inaugurated the Board as Chaired by Mrs Lauretta Onochie, and Dr Samuel Ogbuku as M.D/CEO, with others to serve alongside them as EDFA, E.D Projects, & State Reps. After the inauguration, all members of the board unanimously agreed to focus on signature projects which will directly impact the lives of ordinary Niger Deltans, unlike previous administrations that focused on awarding and re-awarding contracts that had little or no impact in the lives of ordinary Niger Deltans.

Dr Ogbuku, a doctorate holder in Political Science and Administrative Studies, Served as Chief Of Staff to Bayelsa State Government, between 2007 and 2012 under Former Governor Timipre Sylva. He was also the Immediate Past Senior Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs to the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, understands the intricacies of leadership and has been opportune to serve in various Leadership capacities since he was a youth. If you get to meet him in person, if not for the security around him, you may not know he is the Managing Director of NDDC because of his gentle disposition, and welcoming attitude.

Dr. Samuel’s Ideology is that all hands must be on deck this is why since he took charge of the commission, he immediately started engagements with the Presidency, Governors, Traditional rulers, Commission’s staff, and just recently Private investors through the NDDC’s PPP Summit, where the commission signed preliminary MoU with “Atlanta Global Resources Inc. for $15B to construct rail-lines across the Niger Delta Region “, first of its kind. The best is yet to come as this is but the tip of the iceberg compared to what the board “have up their sleeves”.

It’s safe to say the NDDC administration is in “Safe Hands ” because for Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, Making A Difference in the Oil Rich Niger Delta Region is a “Pledge ” that MUST BE FULFILLED and not mere words to be echoed.

Martins Ogolo, a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Port Harcourt 
martins.ogolo@yahoo.com

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