New Telegraph

NDDC Demands Stability Of Mgt. For Optimal Performance

…Appeal for release of all statutory funds.

The Board and Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has ended its two-day retreat at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State on Sunday with a renewed vigour to address the challenges facing the region.

In a communique endorsed by the Chairman of the Board Mr. Chiedu Ebie and the Managing director Chief Samuel Ogbuku, the Commission expressed its desire to consolidate Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda within the Niger Delta region

According to the communique, “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 added, “The frequent changes in the Governing Board of the Commission have largely accounted for the challenges in project execution and delivery in the development of the region. Thus, the Federal Government should ensure that the current Board completes its tenure and that there is continuity in succeeding Boards to ensure the sustainability of the Commission’s projects.”

The communique called for proper synergy, collaboration, and coordinating framework between the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, State Governments in the regions, the NDDC, and development partners.

Describing procurement as the heart of governance and one of the government activities most vulnerable to corruption, the Board and Management of the NDDC vowed to effectively discharge their responsibility to manage the Procurement process involving all stakeholders, without sacrificing the core objectives as provided under the Procurement Act.

The retreat emphasized 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.

The communique further highlighted, “In view of the peculiar construction window of the Niger Delta region, there is the 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 longsuffering people of the region”.

It added, “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 needs to consistently demonstrate their commitment to ethical principles, through their decisions and behavior.
There is a need for the development of key governance policies and procedures to promote clarity of roles and minimize discord on the Board, as well as a defined reporting framework covering key stakeholders and transparency”.

The retreat emphasized that the purpose of all reform must be the improvement of the lives of the people. “Reforms tailored to the local context have a better chance of success. Therefore, the NDDC must deploy creativity and innovation to drive reforms and development in the region”.

They also agreed that there is a need for intentional partnerships and conflict management imperatives to secure value stressing that Stakeholder engagement and management must be strategic and improved continuously.

“There is a need for strategic communication of the value added by the NDDC to its stakeholders, to change the negative perception about the Commission”.

While acknowledging the existence of political pressure on the operations of the Commission, the retreat canvassed the need for the Board and Management of the Commission to develop the political will to manage the pressure.

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