The Managing Director/CEO of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, says the Board and Management of the commission are ready to work hand-in-hand with the Federal Government for what he described as unprecedented, efficient, and transparent development of the region.
Ogbuku noted that if given the trust and the flexibility to operate within a responsible, tailored financial framework, the commission will deliver results faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Speaking at the Board and Management Retreat held in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, 9 – 10 February 2024, the MD/CEO of NDDC, Dr. Ogbuku disclosed that with the support of all stakeholders, proper financial framework that fosters agility, the commission can chart a course towards a brighter future – a future where the Niger Delta becomes a beacon of hope and prosperity for the entire nation.
He added that for the past 24 years of NDDC existence, over seven thousand life-touching projects have been executed by the commission, adding that the management and board of NDDC are blocking every hole of wastage.
Dr. Ogbuku identified Treasury Single Account, TSA, system as one-size-fits-all approach which he said poses challenges to the diverse operational landscape of the commission.
He therefore, advocated for the removal of the NDDC from operating under the TSA framework due to the Commission’s unique characteristics and the potential benefits of increased autonomy in financial management.
“Consider our past successes: Many landmark projects were brought to life before the TSA, utilizing Advance Payment Guarantees to expedite delivery and ensure timely execution.
“While we embrace the TSA’s transparency goals, its centralized control has undoubtedly created hurdles, particularly in maintaining project pace.
“The limited construction window further compounds these challenges. To truly deliver on the Renewed Hope Agenda, we need to remove funding impediments.
“We advocate the removal of the NDDC from operating under the TSA framework due to the Commission’s unique characteristics and the potential benefits of increased autonomy in financial management.”
In his remark, the Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Development, Engr Abubakar Momoh cautioned the commission against competing with state governments but rather urged the board and management to seek for ways co collaborate.
“With the new board, we shall strike the right note in the development of the region.
” Some recommendations on the forensic audit of the NDDC are being implemented. The new board shall faithfully implement some of the recommendations in line with the renewed hope.” Momoh said.
Earlier, setting the tone for the meeting, the Chairman, NDDC Governing Board , Mr. Chiedu Ebie averred that it is the desire of the President to see the commission transform the region.
He said the objectives of the event is to probe the purported answers on the development of Niger Delta as well as design and document ideas that will confront the board on the mission of national development.
The retreat featured paper presentations by Engr Emeka Ezeh, Frank Nweke, Jr, Ms Donu Kogbara, Mr. Tolu Olukale, Dr. Joe Abah among others.