• Thursday, November 30, 2023
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BusinessDay

NDDC’s next budgets to pass through people’s parliament

Budgets of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2024 would now pass through what would look like ‘the peoples parliament.’

The budget would be tabled before the ordinary people of the region to look at and make input so it will be seen as ‘the peoples budget’ instead of one not known to the people.

This was disclosed on Friday, June 9, 2023, by the managing director of the NDDC, Samuel Ogbuku (PhD), when he inspected projects in Gbaramatu in Delta State.

Speaking after inspecting the canalization of Oporoza Creek, Ogbuku told the monarch that the 2024 NDDC budget would have inputs from all major stakeholders in the region.

He stated: “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 boss re-affirmed its commitment to completing all on-going projects in the Niger Delta region, including those in Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Ogbuku noted that the project would provide easy access and navigation for the communities and the oil company operating in the Gbaramatu kingdom.

The NDDC CEO who was accompanied by the executive director projects, Charles Ogunmola, and other directors of the Commission, assured that work on all infrastructure projects would be completed to positively impact on the lives of the people.

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The NDDC inspection team also paid a courtesy visit to the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Oboro Gbaruan II, at his palace in Oporoza.

Ogbuku identified Escravos as an area of special economic priority, stating that NDDC was taking steps to make it more accessible by rallying the support of stakeholders for a broad partnership that will expedite 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 (PPP) 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.”

Ogbuku noted that the partnership between the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the NDDC in the construction of the 25.735-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road should be replicated for other projects.

The traditional ruler urged the NDDC to ensure that none of its projects was abandoned, noting that non-completion of projects was responsible for the slow pace of development in the Niger Delta region.

The monarch declared: “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.”

Earlier, in an address by the Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs, the spokesman of the kingdom, a chief, Godspower Gbebekama, affirmed that the NDDC had several on-going projects which needed to be completed.

He observed: “In spite of the daunting challenges of the Commission, your intervention is evident in the Niger Delta and Gbaramatu Kingdom in particular.”

According to him, NDDC projects in the area include the Warri-Amadino-Okerenkoko Road, the Seitorububou-Kurutie-Ubafan Road and bridges, canalisation 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.”