The United States envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador William Stuart Symington, has commended the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for communicating constantly with its stakeholders to ensure efficient service delivery to the people of the Niger Delta.
Ambassador Symington gave the commendation when he led a delegation from the US mission in Nigeria to pay a courtesy visit to the NDDC management at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Monday.
He said: “We are highly interested in the success story of the Niger Delta region. So, we are satisfied with the approach of taking stock and thereafter charting the way forward.”
The US envoy said he was pleased to see Nigeria through eyes of the NDDC, as well as see how the Board and management were tackling the challenges of developing the Niger Delta “I hope the people of Nigeria can be united for the development of the country,” he said.
Making a presentation to the US envoy, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima U. Ekere, called for partnership in agriculture, health, education, power, environment, security and infrastructure.
Mr Ekere urged the United States Embassy in Nigeria to assist the Commission in institutional strengthening, capacity building and the review of the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan. He also called for collaboration and funding for strategic high impact projects.
He said that the NDDC was at the heart of the Niger Delta, noting that the Commission had the solemn mandate to develop the region by doing things differently.
The NDDC boss said that the world should not lose sight of problems confronting the region, especially with regards to pollution, degradation of the environment, poverty, youth unemployment, among others.
He added: “A whole lot needs to be done because we need to create sustainable economic models that can take the youths away from the streets. The world must not forget the Niger Delta and the problems in the oil-rich region.”
Mr Ekere stressed the need for stakeholders in the region to be more serious and committed to addressing the core problems facing the people. He commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for paying serious attention to the problems of the region, noting that the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, had not relented in engaging with the people of the region on behalf of the President.