Hope Uzodinma calls for more assistance from the NDDC Interim Administrator.

The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, called on all stakeholders in the Niger Delta to collaborate with the Niger Delta Development Commission in its efforts to develop the region.

Senator Uzodinma spoke when the Interim Administrator of the Intervention Agency, Mr. Efiong Akwa, led a team of directors of the Commission on a courtesy visit to the Government House in Owerri.

The governor lamented that over the years, politics had hindered the delivery of NDDC projects and programs, and advised Niger Deltans not to allow politics and opinion to slow down the growth of Nigeria’s oil-rich region. He asked stakeholders to shun politics and accept good governance. He has declared: “The time for politics is over now. It’s a time for governance.”

Senator Uzodinma thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for nominating Akwa as NDDC Interim Administrator to oversee the forensic audit, pending the appointment of a new Commission Board.

The Governor expressed support for the NDDC Chief’s efforts to communicate with stakeholders, adding that NDDC needs to be prepared to collaborate with and support its programs to accelerate the growth of the Niger Delta stakeholders.

He denounced how politicians funded youth to protest against the actions of the NDDC, urging them to stop and allow peace to reign “because growth can only take place in an environment of peace.” He added that NDDC is not a racial or tribal group. It was built for the creation of the entire Niger Delta region.”

Senator Uzodinma called on NDDC to bring more projects and programs to Imo State, adding, “We need action from you on our highways, our tertiary schools, health and NDDC hostels.” He called on the Commission to provide the hostel that it had designed for the State University, so that students could use the facility in comfort and safety, noting that it was especially necessary now in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of NDDC told the governor that the Interim Management had met with key stakeholders in the Niger Delta region, saying, “This is necessary because collaboration is key to growth.”

The Chief of the NDDC said: “Partnership is a core feature of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It promotes a common vision, shared responsibility, shared engagement, shared budgeting and implementation of development initiatives.

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“That was the spirit of shaping the Niger Delta Master Plan, the vision of our mutual allegiance to this great region. After so many years of neglect, it is crucial that we do a lot more for our people together. It is critical that we do more for a region that has produced the bulk of Nigeria’s prosperity and accounted for our rise in the community of nations.”

He commended the governor of the Imo State for undertaking a range of projects that helped to open up areas with a rich agricultural potential. “You are helping to raise the economies of these regions,” he said, “and helping to improve people’s living conditions.”

Akwa said the courtesy visit was both a recognition of the strategic importance of governors to the growth of the Niger Delta and a quest for ways to build a closer partnership with governments and citizens.

He said that we are determined to continue to make a difference in the Niger Delta region in general, and in the Imo State in particular. We remain committed to delivering quality sustainable projects and services. It’s up to us to develop the Niger Delta. To make it a better place is to offer a better place to our people.

Subsequently, the Interim Administrator handed over keys to four waste disposal trucks to the Imo State Government to assist the Government in its efforts to improve the sanitary conditions of cities in the state.

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