Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno has sought genuine collaboration between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the State Governments in the Niger Delta region for better service delivery in line with the core mandates of the Commission.
Eno, while granting audience to a delegation of the NDDC Board and Management team led by the Board Chairman, Mr Chiedu Ebie who visited the State for a- two-day retreat expressed optimism that the new board will uphold its mandate and core responsibilities as an interventionist agency for the development of the Niger Delta region.
He advised the team not to subvert its mandate for political reasons.
Eno also promised to collaborate with the Commission to deliver dividends of Democracy to the people of Akwa Ibom and charged the management of NDDC to involve the state government in its interventionist programmes based on needs assessment to avoid replication of projects.
“I say this because the opinion of a lot of us particularly, Governors of the South-South region is that the mandate and core responsibility of NDDC as an interventionist agency appears to have been subverted to satisfy a purely political purpose and I don’t say this, lightly. That is not what it should be.
“The NDDC is an interventionist agency that is supposed to be very apolitical, looking at the development of the Niger Delta States and of course, Nigeria as a whole. But over the years, I can say that it has not been truly so.
“I wish, hope and trust that this new leadership will move away from being political. Yes, we cannot take out politics in all we do, but we need to be able to balance it so that the people of the South-South can begin to feel very strongly about the impact of the NDDC.
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“I am happy about the theme of this retreat, “Renewed Hope: An Era of Vitality, Peace and Sustainable Development,” this theme aligns deeply with the Renewed Hope Agenda of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.
Eno noted that his administration has been all-inclusive having worked across party lines believing that it is a sure way to deliver the dividends of Democracy to the people.
He expressed optimism that the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President and the inspiring theme of the retreat will foster collaboration between the Commission and the State Administration for the attainment of the agency’s core mandate as well as usher in the era of vitality, peace and sustainable development in the State.
“I remain very optimistic that given this Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu and the theme of this retreat, these new vistas of collaboration and depoliticization of the agency’s core mandate, the era of vitality, peace and sustainable development will finally be here,” he assured.
The Chairman of the Board, Mr Chiedu Ebie congratulated the Governor for his victory at the Supreme Court and expressed the commitment of the board and management of the Commission to work as a team with all State governments in the Niger Delta.
He assured the governor of the development of the region based on need assessment to complement the State Government’s development strides.