By Suoyo Ekubo
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has announced that it has attracted several partnership requests from the European Union, foreign and domestic entities, State Governments, and the private sector due to its transparency and accountability in delivering its mandate.
The NDDC Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, disclosed this during his visit to Ondo State Government House, where he was received by the Acting Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
Dr. Ogbuku said that the NDDC has gained the confidence and trust of investors and stakeholders willing to collaborate with the commission to develop the Niger Delta region and empower its people. He said that one way the NDDC achieves this goal is by launching the NDDC-HOPE initiative, which stands for Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement.
The NDDC-HOPE initiative aims to create a comprehensive database of all Niger Delta youths, women, and entrepreneurs with genuine needs and aspirations that the NDDC’s programs and interventions can address. The initiative will enable the NDDC to reach out to the people directly instead of relying on politicians who may nominate their cronies or relatives who do not need or deserve the opportunities.
Dr. Ogbuku said the NDDC-HOPE initiative also aims to create 1,000 jobs per state through strategic partnerships and skill development. He said that the NDDC has partnered with various organizations and institutions to provide training and mentorship to the Niger Delta youths and women in various fields such as agriculture, ICT, renewable energy, fashion, and arts and crafts.
Dr. Ogbuku urged the Niger Delta youths and women to embrace the NDDC-HOPE initiative by registering for it online or through designated centers across the region. He said that by doing so, they would not miss out on any opportunities the NDDC offers, such as scholarships, skill acquisition, entrepreneurship development, employment, and empowerment.
“The idea is to have handy contact information of the immediate needs of respective Niger Deltans so that whenever we have a program, we should reach out to them directly instead of reaching out to politicians who, most a times, nominate their siblings and followers — sadly, some of them do not need the said program they are nominated for,” Dr. Ogbuku said.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Ondo State Government for its support and cooperation with the NDDC, especially in completing the 132/33kv Okitipupa power substation. He said that the project, which had been abandoned for over 13 years, was about to be completed and would restore electricity to several communities in the area.
The Acting Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, commended the NDDC for its efforts in developing the Niger Delta region and improving the lives of its people. He thanked Dr. Ogbuku and his team for seeing to the completion of the power sub-station project, which he said was a significant achievement for the state and the region.
“On behalf of all indigenes of Ondo State, I want to appreciate NDDC and especially your administration for seeing to the completion of the 132/33kv Okitipupa power sub-station. After over 13 years of blackouts, communities in this area are about to have electricity power restored, courtesy of NDDC. We are not taking this for granted,” Hon. Aiyedatiwa said.
He also pledged his support for the NDDC-HOPE initiative. He urged all eligible Niger Deltans to register for it and benefit from the programs and interventions the NDDC offers.
“We have received several partnership requests from the European Union, foreign and domestic entities, as well as State Governments and the private sector because investors now have confidence in NDDC,” Dr. Ogbuku said during his courtesy call on Hon. Aiyedatiwa.
He added that his administration was committed to transforming the Niger Delta region into a hub of peace and prosperity for all its people.