The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has resumed activities, after temporary shut down of the commission’s corporate headquarters following coronavirus panic.
The committee, however, relocated from the old 167 Aba Road office of the commission to the new permanent coroporate headquarters of the NDDC.
The Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, said the relocation would place the commission on a better pedestal to deliver on its core mandate.
A statement by the commission’s Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, said Pondei spoke after resuming work at the new headquarters along with the Executive Director. Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.
Pondei insisted the movement would ensure improvement in the services rendered by NDDC, as they would be more automated, digitalised and professional.
He assured the 13-floor permanent headquarters would be completed and commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in the very near future.
He said: “It is a privilege to be here with the IMC. It would not have been possible without the effort of President Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
“Within the first year of his resumption of office as the NDA Minister, Akpabio took seriously the completion of this edifice. I also remember our brother, Late Ibanga Bassey Itang, who would come for inspections of this project even on weekends.”
Pondei said that the relocation to the new headquarters would ensure that the finishing touches were properly done.
“Project move faster when there are activities on a continuous basis. As we have moved to this place, before you know it, one or two other floors would be completed. The movement will be in phases and our presence here means that the commissioning would not be long in coming,” he said.
He regretted the border closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic delayed installation of some facilities.
Pondei noted the new headquarters would accommodate all the directorates and departments of the commission, describing it as a one-stop-shop.
He said: “It is a place everyone would be happy about. The ancillary building will accommodate facilities such as a medical centre, restaurant, and bank, among others. All the service equipment for the main building, including electrical equipment such as lifts and escalators have been installed.”
He said that the old office presented many obstacles, especially in the areas of office space, adding that the new complex would take care of the problems.
“This new complex is more spacious and there are enough rooms for everyone. Whatever was an obstacle at the old office would not be an obstacle here,” he said.
Pondei noted that unlike the office on Aba Road, the new complex would be connected to the national electricity grid with provision made for alternative source of power wondering why some people were raising controversies over the new building.
He said: “Seeing is believing. And you can’t compare the cost of this building to other buildings being done in Nigeria that are even smaller than this. I believe that our presence here will put a stop to all these unnecessary controversies, especially in the social media.”