You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ~Buckminster Fuller
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 wooping 15 Trillion Naira (40Billion USD) in the past 22 years was at a stalemate as even the Commision’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 to the lives of the ordinary Niger Delta Citizens.
Late Last year, 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 , Uman Okon Umana Inuagurated 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 .
Dr Ogbuku, a doctorate degree 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.
In his youthful days, he served as Public Relations Officer of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Central Zone. His leadership prowess earned him a traditional stool in his place of origin , Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State . Little wonder, leadership comes naturally to him.
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.
In his first meeting with staff of the commission, He assured them of willingness on his part to ensure everyone is carried along. Dr Samuel also took time to remind them of the NDDC Motto : “Determined To Make A Difference ” , infact he said everyone including himself will remind themselves on daily basis the motto and check everyday if they have made any difference .
It’s safe to say 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
Public Affairs Analyst.