TINUBU HAS STRONG DESIRE TO TRANSFORM NIGER DELTA REGION INTO A ZONE OF PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT – Ebie, Chairman, NDDC Governing Board
Mr. Chiedu Ebie, Chairman, Governing Board, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has revealed that His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), President of the Federal Republic Nigeria, will transform the Niger Delta Region to a zone of peace and development.
Barrister Ebie stated this recently while presenting his welcome address at a 2-day strategic retreat held by the Commission’s board and management at Four Point Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state.
According to Ebie, the assertion on President Tinubu desire to develop the region was predicated on the fact that the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) made up of worthy Nigerians was among the first Federal Government parastatal constituted by Mr. President upon his assumption of office last year.
He told the gathering that as an accountable and proactive board inaugurated just over two months ago and led by him, they have achieved progress and worked to dispel the negative narratives that once plagued the Commission, adding that the board have adopted a leadership style that aims to instill confidence in the people of the region and relevant stake holders.
While he appreciated Mr. President for the support and unrelenting guidance, Mr. Ebie stressed that the objective of the two-day strategic retreat which had as theme ‘Renewed Hope; A New Era of Vitality, Peace and development’ was to further align the board and management of the Commission with Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
Find details of the speech below.
WELCOME ADDRESS BY MR. CHIEDU EBIE, CHAIRMAN, GOVERNING BOARD, NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (NDDC) AT THE RETREAT FOR BOARD MEMBERS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT HOLDING ON FRIDAY, 9TH FEBRUARY, 2024 AT FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON HOTEL, IKOT EKPENE, AKWA IBOM STATE
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to this two-day strategic retreat. Permit me to say without fear of contradiction that this gathering is a reflection of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s strong desire to have the Niger Delta Region transformed into a zone of peace and development. This assertion is predicated on the fact that the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) led by my humble self and comprised of other worthy Nigerians was among the first Federal Government parastatal constituted by Mr. President upon his assumption of office last year.
As a statutory requirement, members of this Governing Board passed through the necessary screening diligently conducted by the National Assembly. The Board was then inaugurated on the 16th of November, 2023 by the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Engr. Abubakar Momoh.
Since our inauguration just over two months ago, as a highly accountable and proactive board, we have achieved progress. Together, we have worked to dispel the negative narratives that once plagued the Commission, aiming to make that a thing of the past. Similarly, we have adopted a leadership style that aims to instill confidence in our people, prioritising their well-being through constructive collaboration and mutual respect.
The objective of this retreat which you will agree is very timely, is to further align the board and management of the Commission with Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda. This objective is replicated in the theme of the retreat; Renewed Hope: An era of Vitality, Peace and Sustainable Development. The sub-themes which are crucial to ensuring good governance have been drawn from the main theme to guide and enrich our conversation.
I am particularly delighted by the presence of the eminent, knowledgeable and well-respected resource persons drawn from diverse leadership and management backgrounds to anchor and critically dissect the various sub-themes in ways that will foster profound and enduring faith between the board and management of the Commission. Therefore, as the retreat begins, it is important for us to make it rewarding by enthusiastically probing the purportedly settled answers about the development of the Niger Delta while attempting answers to unsettled questions. This I believe is a shared responsibility by each and every one of us.
Following a similar approach within this two-day retreat, we should propose strategies for the reintroduction and reestablishment of coordinated development to its proper place in the Niger Delta discourse, design implementation ideas and ideals that will remind members of the board and management that we are confronted with a larger responsibility of nation building. At the end
of this retreat, we should become aware that the main parameter for our assessment as board members and management staff will largely be dependent on the way we discharge our fiduciary duties and the legacies we leave behind in terms of developing and improving of the region.
Having clearly outlined the reason why we are gathered here today, we must appreciate the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Pastor Umo Eno and members of his cabinet for the privilege accorded us by hosting us in the city of Ikot Ekpene and for making time to grace this opening ceremony. As one of the home states of NDDC, we feel at home with the serenity and hospitality of Akwa Ibom.
To our Honourable Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, Engr Abubakar Momoh, your support has been immense. The board and management sincerely appreciate you and your team, comprising the Permanent Secretary, MNDA, Dr. Shuaib Belgore and Directors of your Ministry here present.
Our gratitude also goes to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume; the Chairman and members of the Senate Committee on NDDC led by Distinguished Senator Asuquo Ekpeyong, and their counterparts in the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, led by the Chairman, Hon. Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu for their presence and wonderful cooperation thus far.
I will like to very specially thank Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, banker, entrepreneur, philanthropist and a worthy ambassador of the Niger Delta Region for graciously agreeing to deliver the Keynote Address despite his very busy schedule.
Our sincere appreciation also goes to our resource persons namely; Mr. Frank Nweke, Jr., a two time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Engr. Emeka Ezeh, pioneer Director General, Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP); Dr. Joe Abah, an internationally acclaimed public sector reform expert; the KPMG Team led by Mr. Tolu Odukale; Mrs. Offiong Anyanwu, a strategy and development adviser and the duo of Dr’s Atei Beredugo and Charles Achodo who are experts on the Regional Master Plan of the Niger Delta, for setting aside other pressing engagements to be part of this retreat in spite of the very short notice. We are also delighted and grateful to have a team of highly experienced moderators made up of Dr. Sam Amadi; Mr. Sam Omatseye; Ms. Donu Kogbara and Liborous Oshioma, Esq. We are indeed grateful and thank you all for honouring our invitation.
To my fellow board members and the management of NDDC, let me re-emphasize that this is an exceedingly important endeavour that requires our utmost commitment and attention to ensure we optimise the benefits of this retreat. The people of the Niger Delta are hopeful that we will make a difference and as such, I implore you to make constructive and incisive contributions when the opportunity avails itself.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you once again for listening and welcome to the 2024 NDDC retreat.
Governing Board, Niger Delta Development Commission