Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Christian Oboh says President Goodluck Jonathan has demonstrated clear commitment to the security, growth and unity of Nigeria through his policies.
To this end he has solicited more support for the Jonathan Administration from the United States of America just as he commends their efforts so far.
Dr. Oboh who was speaking when the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence McCulley paid him a courtesy call in Port Harcourt restated the Commission’s determination towards ensuring peace and security in the Niger Delta.
He noted that despite the challenges in the region, the Jonathan administration has not relented in addressing issues of development and security through development agencies amongst them, the NDDC.
“you have rightly noted the challenges we have in this region in terms of security and development , you know we have a difficult terrain that makes development very difficult, that was the major reason the NDDC was set up as an interventionist agency ” he remarked.
”Nearly all the wealth of this country comes from the Niger delta region, therefore the people deserve a better condition of living”. Dr. Oboh told the American Ambassador, the first to visit the Commission stressing that the Board is working assiduously to ensure the realization of Federal Government’s vision for the region.
He outlined the one billion Naira agricultural revolving loan scheme, skills acquisition programmes, welding and fabrication, women empowerment initiatives as well as training of youths in solar maintenance and installation as some of the steps taken so far.
On Education Dr, Oboh disclosed that both foreign and local scholarship schemes were being vigorously pursued for Niger Delta students “our level of technology in this area is minimal, so we decided to encourage our youths with basic first degree to study in developed countries”.
The Managing Director disclosed that the Commission has concluded plans for the construction of specialist hospitals in three states of the Niger Delta and will replicate same in the other states of the region.
As part of efforts to open up the rural communities, Dr. Oboh disclosed that 66 mega projects among others were on the verge of being awarded and reiterated the Commission’s willingness to partner the US Government in its effort to develop the Region.
Earlier the US, Ambassador, Mr. Terrence McCulley described the Niger Delta as critical for Nigeria and the United States.
The U.S Government he said has followed with keen interest efforts being made by the Federal Government to develop the Niger delta particularly through the Niger delta regional development master plan and pledge further support towards the development of the region.