Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has advised the governing board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to focus on regional projects that will help develop the region.
Wike gave the advice during a courtesy visit to the governor by members of the NDDC governing board led by its Chairman, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, on Friday in Port Harcourt.
He urged the governing board to embrace the conceptualisation and implementation of projects like the construction of highways with bridges to link states.
He said that such projects would serve as economic corridors to ease interstate movements and promote socio-economic integrations within the region.
According to him, such big-ticket projects will impact positively on the lives of people in the region, urging the commission to effectively support the Niger Delta region in their development efforts.
He further said it was important that the states are aware of the projects and programmes NDDC was planning to implement to avoid duplication of projects.
The governor congratulated the board members on their appointment but remarked: I want to believe that you are sincere in your declaration that you will do things differently henceforth”.
He, however, lamented that the amount of money that had passed through the NDDC was not commensurate with the development on ground.
Wike advised NDDC to avoid awarding contracts to politicians who lack the capacity to execute quality projects.
He stressed on the importance of collaboration and expressed displeasure on a situation where the NDDC embarks on projects and programmes without liaising with the state governments for harmonisation.
”Let us know when you want to execute projects in the state, we have to avoid duplication of projects,” the governor said.
He also said that the board members should resist pressure from politicians who would want them to dance to their selfish tunes.
He urged Niger Delta region to resist those trying to use them to work against the interest of the people.
Earlier in her remarks, the NDDC chairman said that the commission was determined to partner with the governors of the Niger Delta region.
Onochie said that the execution of many projects and development that had taken place in the state by Wike’s administration was amazing and commendable.
“I commend you and your administration for these impacting projects,” she said.
Onochie said that the new board under her leadership would emulate the outstanding performance of the Rivers government.
She added that the board was visiting the governor to ask for his guidance because they are determined to change the trajectory of the NDDC.