The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has commended the Niger Delta Development Commission, for initiating platforms for collaborative engagements with development partners, donor agencies and stakeholders to ensure speedy development of the Niger Delta region.

A statement said while speaking during a one-day NDDC policy dialogue with development partners in, Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Shuaib Belgore, said the forum presented an opportunity to expand formal interaction with development agencies.

“The aim of this forum, aptly captured in the theme, ‘Deepening governance through transparency and value-added partnership’ is to brainstorm on the shared mandates of the ministry and the NDDC with you, our development partners and the private sector, on how best to collaborate and promote greater synergy for enhanced result in the overall development of the region,” he said.

Declaring the policy dialogue open, the permanent secretary said that engagement with partners and stakeholders was one of the many new strategies designed by the current management in NDDC and the ministry to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region.

Belgore said the Ogbia-Nembe road, which was jointly funded by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and the NDDC, stood out as an example of what could be achieved through partnerships.

The NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, stated that the commission remained the major vehicle for the development of the Niger Delta region.

He said, “We are here to appeal to you to consider the Niger Delta as your own. For donor agencies, we say, support us. For the development partners, we say join us to complete ongoing major projects.

NDDC alone cannot develop the Niger Delta. We need more funding. We need support.”

The managing director said, “We have started engagement with the key stakeholders, such as the oil companies who contribute three per cent of their operational budget to the Commission; the state governments, traditional rulers, Civil Society Groups, youth organisations and contractors.”

Ogbuku said that the NDDC would be banking on multinational corporations such as Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Total to collaborate with the NDDC in executing legacy projects such as the Warri-Escravos Road.

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