President Buhari praises Reforms in NDDC

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… Stakeholders have been praising MNDA and NDDC for their accountability and transparency.

It is to President Mohammadu Buhari’s credit that he initiated reforms in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by way of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA). These reforms have repositioned the Commission to facilitate the positive and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region. President Buhari has been praised for his efforts.

This commendation was given by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, on behalf of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, when he opened the NDDC-PPP Summit that was taking place in Lagos.

According to the minister, the directive given by the president to reform the NDDC came at the perfect time because it has repositioned the Commission to be transparent, accountable, and run on the template of global best practices in public governance.

“By publishing in national newspapers a list of 2,506 completed projects executed by the Commission during the term of the Buhari administration from 2015 to 2022, we kicked off an era in which accountability and transparency would play a central role. The amount of positive feedback received in response to this level of openness in public governance has been incredible.

“Today, we are witnessing an enthusiastic response by stakeholders and development partners to an invitation to dialogue on the development of the Niger Delta. This response is taking place as a result of trust in public institutions that are run in accordance with the law and with due process.

“A Public-Private Partnership would not be feasible in a government institution that is hampered by a lack of trust,”

“In keeping with the Action Plan to do things the right way, the government approved for implementation of some of the key recommendations of the Forensic Audit into the activities of the NDDC, while the White Paper on the Forensic Audit Report is currently being awaited.

“In accordance with the suggestions made in the Report, contracts for 4,000 different projects were terminated due to non-performance, and the terminations were announced in the local newspapers. The procedure to recoup the funds already spent on the terminated contracts has already been initiated.

Umana argued that the ministry has well-defined limits, providing a clear demarcation between supervision and interference, while at the same time stressing the importance of having oversight.

 

“I have made sure there is no ministerial interference in the management of the NDDC,” he said, noting that the rapid positive perception of the NDDC is evident in the enthusiastic response of private sector players to the invitation to dialogue on the way forward for the development of the Niger Delta. He noted that the rapid positive perception of the NDDC is evident in the enthusiastic response of private sector players to the invitation to dialogue on the way forward for the development of the Niger Delta.

As a result, the Minister was pleased with the way the NDDC management handled the organization of the investment summit.

Meanwhile, stakeholders and political leaders have heaped praise on President Buhari, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, and the management of NDDC for engendering public confidence through a commitment to good public governance, which has had a positive impact on peace and stability in the Niger Delta region. This praise was directed toward President Buhari, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, and the management of NDDC.

Separately at the NDDC-PPP Summit, senator-elect Adams Oshiomhole, a former chairman of the APC; Senator Matthew Urhoghide, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations; Mr. Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board; Mr. Timi Alaibe, a former managing director of the NDDC; and Mr. Dakuku Peterside, a former director-general of the Nigerian

Oshiomhole wondered why anyone would run a government agency for three years with a handpicked sole administrator when there was no provision for such an aberration in the enabling law that established the agency. He noted that such an anomaly could never inspire public confidence in the NDDC. Oshiomhole was referring to reported cases of mismanagement in the NDDC before recent reforms.

One of the most significant events of the summit was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Atlantic Global Resources Inc. to construct a railroad that will cost $15 billion and will link all of the states in the Niger Delta region into a modern transport hub.

 

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