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NDDC Chairman vows Rapid Development, unveils reforms agenda

The Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba on Tuesday vowed to push through change at a fast pace but said “The key thing is judicious use of what is available.

Receiving members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) in his office in Abuja, the NDDC chief noted that the fundamental solution to the continued agitation by the people of Niger Delta which triggered off militancy in the oil-rich region was a rapid development of the area.

“There are structured mechanisms under the law establishing the commission (NDDC) for engagement, and we are going to deploy those mechanisms to the fullest. I believe that the underlying solution to the agitation in the region is development. And the moment they begin to see development coming quickly, their anger will subside. And when I talk of development, I mean physical, economic and social development.”

Asked what he intends to do on the issue of paucity of funds, Ndoma-Egba stated that, “The key thing is judicious use of what is available. We must use whatever is available judiciously. And we are also working very, very hard to ensure that whatever the commission is entitled to is given to it.”

The members of ACHPR were in the office of the NDDC chairman as part of their routine visit to engage with various stakeholders in countries that are signatories to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights also known as the Banjul Charter.

ACHPR Commissioner and leader of the delegation, Mrs. Lucy Asuagbor said: “The purpose of our mission is routine. As I mentioned in my introductory remarks, we have our mandate for the promotion and protection of human rights on the continent. And also we are mandated to pay visit to the respective countries in order to evaluate their compliance with their international engagements. And it is in line with this mandate that we are here. It is a routine visit and in the course of it we engage with various stakeholders. And that is why we believe that it is important for us to be here today to engage with the commission (NDDC); engage in a discussion to find out the mandate of the commission, the challenges they face and the prospects they have in future.

At the end of this mission, we intend to write a report. We will be writing a report which will be made public after its adoption by the (African Union) Assembly of Heads of State and Government. But primarily it is not a secret that there are issues, environmental issues in the Niger Delta. And that is why we are here to be able to discuss with the competent authorities to see what plans they have. Our interest is to know what plans the authorities have in order to quell the agitation (in the Niger Delta). You’ve heard that there is need for development. And that once development comes in, at least, it is going to quell the agitation.”

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