BY ADOGHOR BRIGHT OCHUKO
The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, has expressed support for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC’s Public, Private Partnership, PPP, initiative in driving the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Ogiame Atuwatse III offered his support when a delegation from the NDDC led by the Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, paid him a courtesy visit in his palace in Warri, Delta State. The NDDC team included the Executive Director, Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola and other directors of the Commission.
The Monarch commended the efforts of the NDDC in re-activating the construction of the Omadino-Escravos Road, as well as the Koko-Oghoye Road, noting that they would boost economic activities in his kingdom.
He observed: “I am an ardent believer that if you want Nigeria to work, you should get the Niger Delta working.”
According to the royal father: “The Chinese have a saying which I have found to be true. If you want to end poverty, build a road. I assure you that when it concerns development in the Niger Delta region, I’m your number one supporter. I promise to reach out to the Delta State Government and the IOCs to support your PPP initiative.”
Speaking earlier, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ogbuku, said it was necessary to visit the Warri Monarch because the Commission recognised the fact “that Warri kingdom is the hub of oil and gas activities in the Niger Delta region.”
He lamented that Warri was now a shadow of itself since most of the International Oil Companies moved out of the city and took their operations to the deep offshore.
Ogbuku stated that the NDDC was coming up with new ways of working with development partners to change the story of Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
He remarked: “We have come up with a PPP Committee to help change the narrative in the Niger Delta region. Today, our doors are open to new partnerships through PPP. We have visited the NNPC to explore possibilities of collaboration with them. We are here to seek your support in reaching out to key stakeholders in the Niger Delta region such as the Delta State Government and the International Oil Companies operating in your kingdom to support our PPP initiatives.”
The NDDC boss appealed to the Warri Monarch to assist the Commission in building partnerships for the completion of the Koko-Oghoye Road project in Warri North Local Government Area, which would connect Warri to Escravos.
Ogbuku recalled that the successful completion of the 29-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State was a good example of the partnership between Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and NDDC.