Dr. Okowa made the call when the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, led a team of the Commission’s management to pay him a courtesy and condolence visit at Government House, Asaba.
The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to help in articulating the strategies for the development of the Niger Delta region.
Okowa said that the Advisory Committee, made up of all the governors of the NDDC member states, and two other members appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, was an important body that would ensure that the states take ownership of NDDC projects and programmes, as well as check the duplication of projects.
He said: “It is our hope that NDDC will live up to the expectations of the people of the Niger Delta region. But for that to happen, there has to be a partnership between the NDDC and the state governments in the region.
“We need to collaborate and not compete. Unfortunately, a lot of politics have affected the work of the NDDC and we have allowed ourselves to be caught in the web of competition.
“I am glad that you have started a stakeholders’ engagement and I urge you to meet all the governors of the nine Niger Delta states.”
The governor stressed the importance of reviewing the Niger Delta Regional Development Master plan to guide the activities of the NDDC, noting that such a plan would serve as the compass for the region.
He advised the NDDC to focus on regional intervention projects, noting: “We need to have big-ticket projects that will be impactful on the lives of people in the region.”
Okowa underlined the need to engage the youths of the Niger Delta through skills acquisition programmes, adding that the youths need skills that would give them the confidence to stand on their own.
He also charged the NDDC Interim Administrator to try to make a mark for himself, regardless of how long he stayed at the helm of affairs in the Commission.