NDDC rail project: U.S. Consulate merely a witness to MoU — NDDC

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has clarified that the  United State Consulate is merely a witness to the  memorandum of understanding   signed by a United States-based firm, Atlanta Global Resources Inc., AGRI, to build a railway network that will connect the nine states of the Niger Delta region.

In a telephone interview, the Director Corporate Affairs,Dr Ibitoye Abosede made the clarification to avoid misinterpretation of United States roles in the proposed railway project.

The signing ceremony, which was a part of the one-day Public Private Partnerships Summit organised by the Commission in Lagos on Tuesday, will provide locomotives, construct railway lines and operate same in the oil producing states of Rivers, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo and Abia.

The MoU was signed by the Managing Director/CEO of the NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, on behalf of the Commission, Mr. Chamberlain Eke, on behalf of the United States Consulate, and Mr. Tony Akpele, on behalf of AGRI.

Work on the preliminary stages of the project, perhaps the biggest in the history of the Commission, is expected to start immediately.

Speaking at the summit, Dr. Ogbuku disclosed that the NDDC was determined to renavigate the process of its intervention in the Niger Delta so that it can achieve its mandate “of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful.”

He stated that the MOU represented a big harvest for the NDDC from the PPP Summit.

In his goodwill message at the summit, former NDDC Managing Director, Chief Timi Alaibe, expressed delight at the PPP initiative taken by the new leadership of the Commission.

He said, “This is the first time in 15 years that I am attending an NDDC function. This is because the new board is charting a new course that is impressive.”

He added, “Far back, after the implementation of the Master Plan, we decided on an implementation plan which involved all key stakeholders. We decided that the Master Plan cannot be funded by the government alone. We needed the private sector, that is why I support holding the summit in Lagos, Nigeria’s financial capital. The concept of rewinding and rebirth is sweet to the ears.”

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