By JIMITOTA ONOYUME
Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Christian Oboh, has urged the United States Government to play a more active role in the security and stability of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking when the American Consul-General, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, paid him a courtesy call, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Oboh noted that the strategic economic importance of the region to Nigeria, US and other parts of the world makes it necessary for stakeholders to ensure that the region was crisis free.
He said though NDDC has a mandate to address the problem of under development in the region, the commission cannot achieve the task without the collaboration and understanding of other stakeholders, including the US.
Citing the difficult terrain, dearth of infrastructure and unemployment as some of the problems of the region, Oboh called for closer collaboration between the US, Nigeria and by extension NDDC in the areas of funding, capacity building and youth development.
He said: “We appeal to the American Consul-General to assist NDDC in getting access to foreign donor funds to pursue more developmental projects in the Niger Delta.”
Mr. Hawkins described the Niger Delta as “an extremely important part of Nigeria and the source of a great deal of the nation’s wealth, which also harbours majority US investment.”
Hawkins said: “Nigeria and US have looked into the troubled areas of the country and have set up a bi-national commission to discussion issues of mutual interest, one of such areas is the Niger Delta problem.”