The Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) has signed a performance bond with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs as part of its commitment to deliver its mandates in the provision of development projects to the Niger Delta region.
Execution of the performance bond was contained in a Communique issued at Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state after a 3-day retreat organized to set a strategic direction for the 7th NDDC governing board and accentuate President Bola Tinubu’s desire for Renewed Hope Agenda within the Niger Delta region.
The Communique which was signed by the Chairman, Governing Board of NDDC Chiedu Ebie with the Managing Director of the Commission Chief Samuel Ogbudu and made available to newsmen in Uyo on Saturday resolved to review and update the Niger Delta Regional Developmental Master plan.
The Communique reads in parts:
“A reviewed and updated Niger Delta Regional Developmental Masterplan remains a crucial framework for guiding and implementing development initiatives in the Niger Delta, as there can be no sustainable development without developmental plans.”
It noted that frequent changes in the Governing Board of the Commission have accounted for the challenges in project execution and delivery in the development of the region and urged the Federal government to ensure that the current Board completes its tenure to enhance sustainability of the Commission’s projects.
“There is need for proper synergy, collaboration and coordinating framework between the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, State Governments in the regions, the NDDC and development partners.”
The management team and the board of NDDC observed that procurement is at the heart of governance and one of the government activities most vulnerable to corruption.
They urged the Board and Management of the interventionist agency to effectively discharge their responsibility and manage the Procurement process involving all stakeholders, without sacrificing the core objectives as provided under the Procurement Act.
It also observed that the non-release of statutory contributions of the federal government hindered the commission from delivering projects to the region and called for financial autonomy of the commission outside the Treasury Single Account (TSA) regime of the federal government.
“There is the need for the urgent release of all outstanding statutory contributions of the Federal Government to the NDDC fund, as the non-release of these funds has significantly hampered the ability of the Commission to deliver on its mandate. In view of the peculiar construction window of the Niger Delta region, there is need for some form of financial autonomy for the NDDC outside the Treasury Single Account (TSA) regime.
“This is as part of the process of getting the Commission to take advantage of traditional credit sources in completing its projects and deliver real impact and sustainable development to the long-suffering people of the region.
“That there is need for the Board and Management to acquaint themselves with relevant rules, in order to effectively discharge the responsibilities imposed under extant laws.”
It further observed that there is a need for the Commission to ensure that its projects and programmes are procured in line with extant rules and laws.
It charged the Managing Director/CEO as the Chief accounting officer of the Commission to be responsible for all procurement processes.
” MD/CEO is encouraged to co-opt the Executive Directors and Heads of Departments during the Procurement planning for the Commission. Whilst these officials will offer useful recommendations, the ultimate responsibility lies with the MD/CEO.
“The Commission should establish clear, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals that the Commission will demonstrably commit to and deliver upon, fostering increased public trust.
“The leadership of the Commission need to consistently demonstrate their commitment to ethical principles, through their decisions and behaviour.
“There is need for the development of key governance policies and procedures to promote clarity of roles and minimize discord on the Board, as well as defined reporting framework covering key stakeholders and transparency.” the Communique stated.