• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Ford Foundation rates NDDC high, set for partnership


The new drive in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) seems to attract attention beyond the shores of Nigeria, and has attracted high ratings. Now, Ford Foundation has rated the Commission high on development indices.

Speaking during a courtesy visit, the Foundation commended the NDDC on tackling the development challenges of the region.

During the visit to the NDDC acting managing director, Ibim Semenitari and other directors at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Head of West African office of the Ford Foundation based in Lagos, Innocent Chukwuma, said the Foundation was impressed with the new drive in the Commission.

Chukwuma, who led a delegation from the Ford Foundation, said that a meeting with the NDDC would enable both parties to share ideas, determine areas of priority and explore opportunities for partnership.

He stated: “The meeting today is a combination of a process that we spoke about when we had a breakfast meeting in Abuja some weeks back and I promised that I will come to Port Harcourt with my programming team because since your appointment, we have been encouraged by the turn around and development within the NDDC.”

The head of the Ford Foundation commended the transparency and accountability that had now been introduced in the activities of the NDDC. He said that the publication of the Commission’s first quarterly report was good sign. “That shows that you have put the organization on the pedestal of transparency. We are here to hear from you about the priorities of NDDC and we would also have the opportunity to speak individually about the programmes that we came with. And then we will look at areas that are mutual and explore them because it is not a one sided affair. We will do our best to ensure that whatever agreement we reach, we will keep our side of the bargain,” Chukwuma said.

The NDDC CEO detailed the activities and performance of the Commission through a power-point presentation to the Ford Foundation delegation. Her presentation preceded the business meeting where details of the partnership were discussed.

Semenitari observed that NDDC’s mandate was very elaborate, but said that despite the wide scope of the mandate, funding of the Commission had been grossly limited. She noted that none of the sources of funding had ever complied fully with the statutory obligations given to them. She remarked that the ecological fund had not been paid at all since the inception of the Commission.

The NDDC boss highlighted the need to work with the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan.  She regretted that the Master Plan, which was launched in 2005, had not been implemented, as it should, even though it was due to be reviewed in 2015.