NDDC urges IOCs to defray over $700m outstanding debt

Samuel Ogbuku, NDDC MD

Samuel Ogbuku, NDDC MD

By Desmond Ejibas

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has appealed to International Oil Companies (IOCs) to defray the whopping 700 million U.S. dollars debts they owe the commission.

The Managing Director of the commission, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, made the appeal during a virtual media tour of the commission’s projects in the Niger Delta region and sensitisation engagement with media executives across the country.

Ogbuku, represented by the commission’s Executive Director of Projects, Mr Victor Antai, said the debt spanned more than 24 years.

He said that paying the debt would help the commission in no small measure to tackle the enormous developmental challenges confronting the region.

He said that the present NDDC’s board and management were genuinely committed to changing the old narrative and perception of the commission in the region.

“We are presenting a new NDDC that is dedicated to implementing several interventions aimed at enhancing and transforming the lives of the Niger Delta people.

“The completion and inauguration of previously abandoned legacy projects are a demonstration of our determination to build on the successes of past NDDC boards and correct their mistakes.

“However, for us to realise our objective of transforming the Niger Delta, we require the support of all stakeholders, including the IOCs,” Ogbuku said.

He also said that the NDDC board had adopted a triple ‘T’ (Transiting from Transaction to Transformation) strategy to actualise its regional mandate.

“We are very committed to ensuring that this time, NDDC truly makes a difference for the betterment of our people.

“The recent inauguration of five mega projects in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo States is a testimony of the new passion with which the commission is delivering on its mandate,” he further said.

Related News

Leading the media executives through a virtual tour of NDDC projects, Antai, said that the commission had constructed and rehabilitated 5,141.3 kilometres of roads across the region.

According to him, the commission has also built 42 bridges, 87 jetties and numerous hydraulic structures across the nine NDDC states.

“NDDC has also installed 3,806.15 kilometres of distribution lines and 527 transformers; deployed 56,786 solar streetlights and constructed and rehabilitated 678 water schemes in communities in the region.

“The commission has reclaimed 427.16 hectares of land for development; awarded 2,323 foreign postgraduate scholarships and constructed and rehabilitated 924 schools and 1,571 hostel rooms.

“On healthcare, NDDC has built 142 health centres and hospitals, equipped six with modern facilities; while in Agriculture we built a rice mill in Elele, Rivers, among others,” Antai said.

Hea expressed the commission’s intention to undertake big-ticket projects in the region.

He said that funding constraints had hindered the commission from embarking on bigger projects.

“Some of the roads include the Borokiri-Okirika Road and three bridge projects that would connect Port Harcourt and Okirika Local Government Area in Rivers State,” Antai said.

He listed other projects to include the Ka-Ataba Bridge in Rivers, Akwa Ibom-Aba link road, Bayelsa Airport Road, linking East West Road, as well as shoreline protection in Sangana, Brass area of Bayelsa, among others.

He said that the commission was currently in talks with Julius Berger Plc to take over some of the road projects from another contractor.

He said that the commission embarked on a light up Niger Delta region and mangrove recovery programmes as part of the initiatives to mitigate the debilitating impact of climate change on the area. (NAN)

Load more