The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, says the commission needs the support of the traditional institution to ensure a peaceful environment for the execution of its projects and programmes.
Mrs Semenitari said this during a courtesy visit by the NDDC management to the heir apparent to the throne of the Benin kingdom, His Royal Highness Edaiken N’Uselu, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa.
She appealed to the Crown Prince to support the Commission’s efforts in ensuring that there was peace in the Niger Delta. She said: “Part of the challenges we face in the development of the Niger Delta is that some communities are not friendly and sometimes they are hostile to our contractors. So, we would like to enlist your support as well as that of other traditional rulers to help us ensure that we execute our projects in secure and peaceful environment.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer also appealed to the Crown Prince to lend his voice to the call on corporate organizations in the region to partner with the Commission in driving the development process.
Mrs Semenitari congratulated the Crown Prince on the successful transition in the Benin royal kingdom, assuring him that the NDDC would contribute substantially to the up-coming coronation ceremony. She stated further: “The Oba of Benin is a key figure in the Niger Delta and we cannot do anything in this region without the support of the key traditional rulers. So we appeal for his support in addressing the problem of youth restiveness to enable us complete our projects in the state without much problems.
“For us at the NDDC, working with the communities is critical to everything we do. We believe that as a Commission that works in the Niger Delta, having a good relationship with the traditional rulers is very important. So, we will support and be part of the coronation ceremonies.”
Crown Prince Erediauwa expressed delight at the visit of the NDDC management, assuring that he would do his best to ensure that the traditional institution supported the efforts of the Commission in developing the Niger Delta.
He advised the NDDC to be less political and more accessible to people, noting that there was need for the Commission to put in more efforts to boost its public image. To further enhance its image, he advised the interventionist agency to continue to execute projects and programmes that touch the lives of people in the various communities.
The Benin Crown Prince requested the intervention of the NDDC on some roads in his kingdom. He also charged the Commission to do more in the area of youth empowerment as part of the strategy to engage them in productive ventures.