The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has expressed its willingness to develop a workable framework for partnership with the Niger Delta Support Programme (NDSP).
Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, the Chairman, Governing Board of the NDDC, said this in a statement issued by Mrs Clara Braide, the Special Assistant, Communication, Office of the Chairman Governing Board of NDDC on Friday in Abuja.
Newsmen recall that NDSP is a European Union (EU) funded programme that is active in five states of the Niger Delta region.
The state are Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom.
Ndoma-Egba said this when he received a delegation led by Mr Albert Achten from NDSP in his office in Abuja.
The delegation was in his office to explore areas of synergy between both organisations.
The chairman noted that EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion was the first to visit him when he assumed office as chairman.
He reiterated NDDC’s commitment toward partnering with NDSP to provide basic necessities like water and sanitation for the good people of the region.
“NDDC is excited about the prospect of working with NDSP to deepen the water policy and formulate the legal framework for water and sanitation.
“We will work assiduously and pursue with urgency and vigour possible collaboration with NDSP and further deepen the synergy with NDSP in project planning and implementation,’’ Ndoma-Egba said.
Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation, Achten, explained that the NDSP was the first phase of the EU assisted water component of the NDSP-3 with presence in five oil producing states.
He enumerated the main objectives of the programme to include; institutional, legal and financial framework in the water sanitation sector.
Achten listed other objectives to include supporting Urban and small towns sector institution to deliver sustainable water supply service, to support rural water sector institutions to deliver sustainable water supply and sanitation services.
According to him, the EU has recently approved extension of the NDSP-3 to 2019 to include the implementation of a synergy programme between the NDSP-3 and some Regional organisations in the Niger Delta.
“The synergy is between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) and NDDC, which are also Interventionist Agencies in the Region, addressing the water and infrastructural issues.
“The thrust of this synergy is aimed at ensuring that these government agencies can leverage on the achievements and experiences derived from the implementation of the first phase of NDSP-3.
“In order to replicate effective and sustainable water deliveries and infrastructure within the Niger Delta Region.
“The programme is targeted at the implementation of a joint collaborative plan and support for ensuring sustainability of water supply in the region.
“It is envisaged that this synergy will result in increase in the community managed water schemes in the Region.’’
Newsmen recall that the NDSP has four components comprising employment opportunities and social services, public finance management, water and sanitation and micro-projects.
The objective is to mitigate the conflicts in the region by addressing the main causes of unrest and violence.
The water and sanitation components of this programme were mainly to enhance access to safe, adequate and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.