The chairman-in waiting of the recently constituted board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the immediate past deputy governor of Edo State, Pius Egberamwen Odubu, has pledged that the Commission’s projects would be executed in a manner that would ensure value for money.
Odubu, a lawyer, also said accountability would not be compromised. Cornered by journalists at a thanksgiving service to mark the 70th birthday of Roseline Edaghuase Imariagbe, mother of former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Samson Osagie, Odubu, also a former two-term member of the green chamber of the National Assembly, said he would take the template of his former principal, Adams Oshiomhole to NDDC. “That is, we will go on daily inspection of projects in order to ensure we get value for money. Accountability will be the word. We are going to turn the place around”.
Speaking against the backdrop of allegations of massive corruption and criticisms by stakeholders in respect of execution of sub-standard jobs, or projects not needed by communities, which had trailed the operations of the interventionist agency since inception, that once constituted, the board would live above board and ensure quality work in the Niger Delta region. Vouching for the integrity of fellow board members, Odubu described them as men of “unimpeachable character” and as such, cannot afford to disappoint Nigerians.
According to him, “looking at the caliber of people on the board of NDDC, they are men of unimpeachable character; people that you can say are not hungry, people that you will say are not in need. They are not in need of money because they are content in life already. It remains therefore for us to go and work and do our best and join President Muhammadu Buhari in taking the Niger Delta to the Next Level”.
The incoming NDDC boss asserted that the era of foisting projects on communities without their inputs was over, stating that before any project is executed, the respective communities would be consulted to know if it soothed their needs and requirement. “We give God all the glory. The God that started it will finish it. We intend to have a vibrant NDDC; one that will prioritise the needs of the people. We are going to adopt the NEEDS assessment approach. That is, we will go to the various communities to ask them their needs and we are not going to be forcing projects down their throats”.
Oshiomhole was represented at the event by his chief press secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, while the minister of state for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba was represented by Philip Ugbodaga.