The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has requested that it be withdrawn from the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account policy so that it can provide optimal service in the development of the Niger Delta region.
Dr Samuel Ogbuku, Managing Director of the NDDC, made the call on Friday at the Board and Management Retreat in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, stating that, despite the enormous benefits of TSA, it does not allow the commission to address emerging and urgent development needs in the region.
In his statement titled “A New Paradigm for Niger Delta Development: Balancing Transparency with Agility,” Ogbuku stated that in order for the NDDC to realize President Bola Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda, it must take proactive and radical steps to ensure the people’s development and economic well-being, noting that this would be achieved through financial autonomy and making timely and flexible financial decisions.
He stated, “We support for the removal of the NDDC from the TSA framework due to the Commission’s unique characteristics and the potential benefits of more autonomy in financial management.
“Removal from the TSA framework might speed up the approval and payment processes, allowing the NDDC to carry out projects more efficiently and fulfill the region’s pressing development needs.
“The NDDC is responsible for addressing specific and urgent development needs in the Niger Delta region. Timely and flexible financial decision-making is critical for effectively responding to dynamic regional concerns.”
While seeking partnership with the federal government, the MD requested it to grant the commission the flexibility to function within a reasonable, specialized financial framework, stating that “we will demonstrably deliver results faster and more efficiently than ever before.”
In his remarks, Minister of Niger Delta Development Abubakar Momoh emphasized the necessity for a bond between the Commission’s Chairman and the Ministry based on the NDDC’s assigned deliverables.
He also recommended the Commission to work more closely with the various State Governments and Communities in determining where to locate projects, stating that “this will earn you their trust and buy-in, resulting in you making more impact and avoiding project duplication.”
Mr Chiedu Ebie, Chairman of the NDDC board, said the event reflected President Tinubu’s determination to see the Niger Delta transformed into a zone of peace and development.