The Association of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) has called for the reactivation of the Partners for Sustainable Development (PSD) Forum, which serves as the clearing house of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The royal fathers made the call on Tuesday when they paid a courtesy visit to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Office of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), at its headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Eze Akuwueze Ikegwuruka, the paramount ruler of Ngbirichi in Imo State and the national chairman of TROMPCON, said that the PSD Forum was an important organ for bringing all the stakeholders under one umbrella to aid the process of harmonizing development projects as enunciated in the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan (NDRDMP).
Eze Ikegwuruka said that TROMPCON was concerned about the increasing incidence of oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta. To put a stop to this development, he said that the group was planning to host an international conference to address the issue. He assured the Federal Government and the NDDC of their “commitment to creating the enabling environment for the execution of various development projects in the Niger Delta Region.”
Addressing the Royal Fathers, the NDDC Managing Director, Sir (Barr.) Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the new governing board of the commission had in its meeting on February 6, 2014 approved the re-activation of the PSD Forum. He said that the NDDC management realized the importance of the forum which brings together representatives of federal and state governments of oil-bearing states, youth and women leaders, traditional rulers as well as the organized private sector, civil society, the mass media and international development agencies such as the UNDP and the World Bank.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer assured the traditional rulers that the commission would not relent in providing sustainable development despite funding constraints. “We have so many projects spread across the region, running into trillions of naira. But don’t judge us by the number of projects awarded, rather judge us by the projects completed, because we are all out to complete outstanding projects,” he said.
Sir Dan-Abia said that TROMPCON played an important role in the setting up of the NDDC, noting that right from the days of the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC, the association had always provided the umbrella to shield the commission. He promised that the new board would work as a team, emphasizing accountability and transparency, in line with the mandate given to it by President Goodluck Jonathan.