The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has restated its dedication to finishing all ongoing projects in the Niger Delta region, including those in Oporoza, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom located in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Following an inspection of the canalisation of Oporoza Creek, NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, expressed that the project would enhance easy access and navigation for the communities and the oil company operating in the Gbaramatu kingdom.
In a statement released in Port Harcourt and shared with the press, NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr. Ibitoye Abosede, highlighted that the NDDC boss, accompanied by Executive Director of Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola, and other commission directors, assured that work on all infrastructure projects would be completed with the aim of positively impacting the lives of the local population.
During the inspection, the NDDC team also paid a courtesy visit to the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, King Oboro Gbaruan II, at his palace in Oporoza.
Dr. Ogbuku emphasized the significance of Escravos as an area of special economic priority, stating that the NDDC was actively working to improve its accessibility. The commission is seeking the support of stakeholders to form a broad partnership aimed at expediting the construction and completion of the Warri-Omadino-Escravos Road.
He said, “We have reached out to Chevron Nigeria Limited and other stakeholders, seeking partnership for the completion of this road and other projects.
“We chose the Public Private Partnership, model as an alternative source of funding for the commission. So, we have been going about seeking funding partners to complete our current projects and also start new ones.”
During his visit, Dr. Ogbuku acknowledged the collaborative efforts between the NDDC and the Shell Petroleum Development Company in the construction of the 25.735-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road. He expressed his desire to see such partnerships replicated for other projects in the region.
Furthermore, Dr. Ogbuku informed the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom that the 2024 NDDC budget would incorporate input from all major stakeholders in the Niger Delta region. This approach aims to ensure that the budget effectively addresses the needs and priorities of the communities.
The NDDC is committed to fulfilling its mandate of developing the Niger Delta region by completing ongoing projects and implementing new initiatives that will contribute to the progress and well-being of the local population. Through collaborations with stakeholders and strategic planning, the commission seeks to make a positive impact on the lives of the people in the region.
“In our budgeting for 2024, we told the budget committee to organise a stakeholder’s conference. The budget cannot be NDDC budget alone, it must be a budget for people of the region,” the NDDC MD stated.
King Oboro Gbaruan II, the traditional ruler of Gbaramatu kingdom, emphasized the importance of project completion to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He urged the commission to ensure that none of its projects are left unfinished, as the failure to complete projects has contributed to the sluggish pace of development in the Niger Delta region. The king’s remarks highlight the need for the NDDC to prioritize the timely and successful execution of its initiatives to drive meaningful progress in the area.
The monarch said, “As traditional rulers, we are worried that development is not moving as fast as we expected. We have played our own role by ensuring that there is peace in the Niger Delta region.
“Having provided a peaceful environment, there should be no excuse for not developing our region.”
During an earlier address, the Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs, represented by its spokesman Chief Godspower Gbebekama, acknowledged the presence of numerous ongoing projects by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) that require completion. The council emphasized the importance of concluding these projects, underscoring the need for the NDDC to prioritize their timely execution. This highlights the collective expectation and plea from the Gbaramatu community for the NDDC to fulfill its commitment to finalizing these initiatives.
He observed, “In spite of the daunting challenges of the commission, your intervention is evident in the Niger Delta and Gbaramatu Kingdom in particular.”
The statement quoted the monarch as listing some NDDC projects in the area as the Warri-Amadino-Okerenkoko Road, the Seitorububou-Kurutie-Ubafan Road and bridges, the canalization of Oporoza Creek, the reclamation and sand-filling of Benikurukuru community, among others.
The chiefs appealed to the NDDC to adequately fund the projects to ensure that they were completed for the benefit of the people, stating:
“The NDDC was created to attend to the peculiar developmental needs of the Niger Delta region,” he said.