NDDC cannot choose projects for benefiting communities, says MD

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By Ifeanyi Olannye

Mr  Samuel Ogbuku, Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said that  the commission cannot  not choose projects for benefiting communities.
Ogbuku stated this at  the 13th Extraordinary General Assembly of Forum of  Traditional rulers in the South South on Tuesday  in Asaba.
 The  theme of the meeting is ” Strengthening Collaboration for Development in the South South Region: the Role of the Traditional Institution.
He said that  communities have the right  to dictate to  the commission what they wanted and not  the commission to dictate to  them.
Ogbuku said  that the traditional institution remained a revered, and the highest decision making body  in every community in the country.
He said that collaboration with the traditional institution would help to deepen development in the  region by addressing the needs of the people.
Ogbuku said that every appointee and elected representative from the region,  should  present account of their stewardship to the traditional institution.
The NDDC boss said the commission has adopted the triple “T” policy, “Transiting from Transaction to Transformation” which is borne  out of the renewed hope  agenda of  President Bola Tinubu.
 “The traditional institution is the best institution to collaborate with when it comes to development.
” This is because when it come to governance, the traditional institution is the original foundation of governance.
He said that for the traditional rulers to have called all the stakeholders to a meeting to collaborate to develop the region, was in good faith.
“For us in NDDC, we believe in such collaborations, if it was not there before, right now, we are trying to implement collaboration for sustainable development.
” We started with our 2024 budget, we thought we had to start with Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) conference which took place in Uyo in 2023.
“Every strata including the traditional rulers were represented to discuss the budget.
“We felt that  was the right way to go instead of us detecting what to do for the people, the people should rather dictate what we should do for them.
“This forum is a very important to ensure that every public office holder comes here to present his account of stewardship. whatever positions we are holding, we are holding in trust for you,” he said.
Ogbuku said that it was time for  all  stakeholders in the region to  come together to “weave the basket” of development for the region irrespective of position or party affiliation.
According to him, NDDC has been repositioned to address the ills of the past by building a corporate governance structure, and a database to curb challenges of selection.
He said that the commission has engaged the KPMG to develop a corporate structure,  to ensure transparency and effective service delivery going forward.
He said that  the  commission would build a database for  youths, women, traditional rulers and all its activities to ensure development in the region.
Also speaking, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Sen. George Akume, represented by Sen. Jack Tilley-Gyado, lauded the traditional rulers for their revered role in the communities.
He said that if given a constitutional role, the traditional institution could bring to an end the security challenges the country was facing.
He  urged  them to guide against further degradation of the region’s environment due to oil pollution and its attendant consequences.
Akume  tasked the lawmakers to ensure the assigning of roles to the traditional rulers in the constitution.
On his part, Sen. Ede Dafinone, Representing Delta Central, pledged  to ensure that the traditional institution was strengthened and assign a role in the constitution.
Also speaking, Sen. Joel Onowakpo-Thomas, Representing Delta South, lamented the poor turnout of stakeholders from the region at the event.
He  called on elected and appointed politicians to account for their stewardship, and advised traditional rulers to create liaison offices for greater collaboration and unity.
According to him, the contributions of the South-South to  national economy is not commensurate with the development in the area.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng).
Edited by Benson Iziama/Joseph Edeh

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