HomeNewsNDDC MD Ogbuku Promises Quarterly Stakeholders Engagement For Regional Development

NDDC MD Ogbuku Promises Quarterly Stakeholders Engagement For Regional Development

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has promised that the commission will now meet on a quarterly basis with stakeholders of the commission to enhance the formulation and sustenance of the Commission’s overall strategies for the development of the region.

Ogbuku made the promise during an interactive forum with opinion leaders and youth groups in the Niger Delta region in Port Harcourt, stating that the engagement was necessary to ensure the durability of its programmes and projects.

He emphasised the importance of building the capacity of youths through strategic programmes as the Commission transits from transaction to transformation.

Ogbuku stated: “Not until we give all our leaders, political, traditional, youths, women and other leaders in the Niger Delta that platform and opportunity to discuss what our future should be, we may not understand the direction that our people want to go”.

He pointed out that the NDDC has a duty to harness resources from different groups, saying: “We have gathered at this forum to hear from the youths; to interact with them and rub minds because we realise that we cannot be planning programmes for youths without involving them at the foundational level.

According the NDDC boss: “We have given more opportunities and hope to Niger Delta youths through our Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement, HOPE, meant to identify interests of the youths for skills training.

He explained that the HOPE project had helped the Commission to develop a comprehensive digital repository, comprising important information about the youths of the Niger Delta region; including their qualifications, skills, interests, needs, and current employment status.

“So far, 470,000 youths have registered in the database and we will partner with youth organisations to ensure that all our youths are registered. This database will serve as a plank for data-driven planning, enabling the formulation of impactful policies and programmes targeted at the youths”, he stated.

He announced that the NDDC was working with the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce in the training of youths and young entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region adding that the Commission would collaborate with the Chambe to support Small and Medium Enterprises in the region and ensure the sustainability of youth development programmes.

Ogbuku went on; “We will also partner with the Bank of Industry to fund projects and support businesses and facilitate the success of our empowerment programmes. We will provide all the necessary support for youth entrepreneurship schemes.

“We will soon hold a Niger Delta Stakeholders Summit and the youths must be a part of it. We need to continually provide the platform for all our stakeholders to contribute ideas for the development of the Niger Delta region”.
He urged people of the region not to allow politicians to destabilise the NDDC, as such action was bound to hinder the development and sow the seeds of discord among Niger Deltans.

He also hunted that President Bola Tinubu has assured the Commission of funding it’s budget to ensure that projects were finished and delivered according to specifications.

“Mr President is interested in seeing legacy projects in the Niger Delta. The time for one kilometer roads and small projects is over so we are willing to abide by Mr President’s directive because he feels he wants to make a difference in the Niger Delta and in making the difference, we are the instruments he wants to use and for us as instruments, we have made that pledge and commitment not to fail Mr President. For him to have given us that honour to represent him in the Niger Delta, we are going to make him proud,” Ogbuku said.

He said the board of the commission is challenged to ensuring the success of President Tinubu’s vision for the Niger Delta.

“For us as a board, it is challenge on our own part to also fulfil Mr President’s vision and aspiration in ensuring that the Niger Delta is developed and ensuring that there is sustainable peace in the Niger Delta and to achieve that , we must ensure that anything we are doing is sustainable.

In his remarks, the NDDC Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Alabo Boma Iyaye, affirmed the importance of stakeholder engagements in driving the development process, stating that NDDC recognised the fact that youths were the backbone of any society.

Speaking earlier, the President of the Survival of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta, MOSIEND, Comrade Kennedy West, commended the leadership of the NDDC for providing a platform for interaction for youth groups in the region, noting that it was important to continually engage in discussions to lay a foundation for sustainable development.

West applauded the NDDC for initiating the Project HOPE, which was expected to engage youths of the region by creating employment opportunities for them, especially in agriculture.

The coordinator for Project HOPE, Ambassador Blessing Fubara, said that the programme would help to engage youths of the region by creating employment opportunities for them.

He said that the second phase of the youth empowerment programme would focus on commercial agriculture, information and communication technology, as well as assisting youths in the creative industry.

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