GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, urged the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to involve the various communities in the state in project planning and execution.
Okowa made the call when the Chairman, Board of NDDC, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, led the management of the commission on a visit to the governor in Asaba.
Okowa said siting of meaningful projects in the region could only be achieved when the actual needs of the people of the area were considered.
According to him: “I want to welcome the spirit of partnership and we are ready to cooperate with you on the development of the Niger Delta. The state and your agency need this cooperation to help our people. We need to create room for the contribution of the people in project planning and execution. l agree with you that we need projects that will impact more on the lives of the people. l want to call for proper monitoring of projects, especially road projects, and the need to strengthen and fund the department for quality delivery, because this is important in the execution of projects.”
He said the state government would partner NDDC on the proposed construction of the Bomadi-Escravos- Okenrenkoko Road, saying, “This is an important road that crisscrosses two major oil producing nationalities in the state.”
He, however, advised the agency to collaborate with the Senate Committee on Niger Delta on the funding of NDDC projects.
The governor restated his support for the calls on the Federal Government to re-constitute the Advisory and Project monitoring committees of the commission.
Okowa said it would deepen the partnership between the state and NDDC in meeting the needs of the people, noting that it would also create room for the people of the area to contribute to developmental projects, planning and execution.
Earlier, Ndoma-Egba, said that the commission was ready to embark on joint venture projects with member states in the spirit of partnership.
He said the delegation was in the state to solicit the support and partnership of the state government on reforms of the NDDC.
Ndoma-Egba urged the Federal Government to re-constitute the Advisory and Project Monitoring Committees of the commission to improve accountability, transparency, cooperation and partnership.
The chairman said that the commission would soon construct a fiber optic network in the region to deepen internet penetration and speed.