By Udo Ibuot
LAST week, the Federal Government announced the appointment of Mr. Nsima Udo Ekere, 51, to the position of Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The appointment which was seen by many as well deserved came at a time the commission was being reorganised away from the spendthrift manner politicians had turned it into.
The appointment of Mr. Ekere is coming after Mrs. Semenitari, the outgoing acting managing director had embarked on the refocusing of the commission. His ascendancy is expected to lead the commission to effectively deliver on its mandate of bringing development to the oil producing but neglected areas of the country.
Ekere is an entrepreneur and innovative thinker with a short but impactful public service career. He studied Estate Management at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, graduating in 1986. In the years following, he has built successful businesses and garnered cogent national and international experiences in real estate, urban and regional planning, oil and gas, power and construction.
As a public officer, Ekere served as Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State between May 2011 and October 2012 before resigning on personal grounds. Prior to that, he was the Executive Chairman of the Akwa Ibom Investment and Industrial Promotion Council, AKIIPOC, the state investment agency (2007-2012). He also served as Chairman, Ibom Power Company (2008 – 2011).
Overall, Ekere has more than 27 years of public and private sector experience, with 19 years spent in top management positions working cross-functionally in a variety of challenging projects across various economic sectors. His areas of expertise include construction, real estate development and property administration, power sector development, investment management and oil & gas upstream development.
In addition to the B. Sc Honours Degree in Estate Management a number of professional qualifications support his credentials: He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Registered Member, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria ESVRBN; Senior Certified Valuer, International Real Estate Institute IREI. Minnesota, USA; and enjoys associate memberships of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation, IRRV, London. As Executive Chairman of AKIIPOC, Ekere conceived and implemented the first private sector gas-to-power project in Nigeria, an innovative strategy to convert natural gas into feedstock for power generation, as a public – private partnership with the Akwa Ibom State Government.
Ekere also developed and implemented a framework for State Governments to undertake power distribution within their states. He worked with the Office of the Vice President and the National Council on Power and the Governors of Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom to create a special purpose vehicle, 4Power Limited, to assume responsibility for power distribution across the four states. He is the founder and principal partner Ekere and Associates, a real estate firm with offices in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Uyo, in addition to a number of other businesses.
His unstated philanthropic gestures include strong investment in human development through regular award of scholarships and educational grants; provision of potable water to rural communities in his Edemaya Clan, Ikot Abasi, and medical outreaches to rural communities. In 2012, Ekere, along with his siblings donated a state-of-the-art Accident and Emergency Ward/Trauma Centre to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.
Ekere is a Knight of John Wesley, KJW, of the Methodist Church Nigeria and recipient of numerous honours and merit awardsincluding traditional titles in recognition of outstanding contributions to community development. He is married to Mrs. Ese Ekere and they are blessed with children.