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Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, on Tuesday called on all stakeholders in the Niger Delta to work with the Niger Delta Development Commission in its efforts to develop the region and stop playing cheap politics.
Senator Uzodinma stated this while speaking when the Interim Administrator of the interventionist agency, Mr Efiong Akwa, who led a team of the Commission’s directors on a courtesy visit to Government House, Owerri.
The governor lamented that over the years, politics had impeded the delivery of NDDC’s projects and programmes, and advised Niger Deltans not to allow politics and sentiments to slow down the development of Nigeria’s oil-rich region. He.charged stakeholders to shun politics and embrace good governance. He declared: ‘The time for politics is over. This is a time for governance.’
Senator Uzodinma lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for the appointment of Akwa as NDDC Interim Administrator, to oversee the forensic audit, pending the composition of a new board for the Commission.
The governor expressed support for efforts by the NDDC boss to engage with stakeholders, stating that for NDDC to fast-track development in the Niger Delta stakeholders must be ready to work with the Commission and support its programmes.
He lamented how politicians sponsored youths to protest against the activities of the NDDC, urging them to stop and allow peace to reign “because development can only take place in an atmosphere of peace.” He added: NDDC is not an ethnic or tribal organization. It was created for the development of the whole Niger Delta region.”
Senator Uzodinma called on NDDC to bring more projects. and programmes in Imo State, saying: “We need intervention from you for our roads, our tertiary institutions, health and the NDDC hostels.” He called on the Commission to furnish the hostel it built for the state university so that students could use the facility in comfort and safety, noting that it was particularly important now in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer told the governor that the Interim Management was meeting with important stakeholders of the Niger Delta region, stating: “This is important because the partnership is key to development.”
The NDDC boss stated: ‘Partnership is a key aspect in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It advocates for a shared vision, shared responsibility, shared commitment, as well as a shared budgeting process and implementation of development initiatives’.
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