Members of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, Akwa Ibom State chapter, have assured the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, of their continued support and cooperation. The royal fathers stated their position on Monday at a special meeting with the NDDC Managing Director, Sir (Barr) Bassey Dan-Abia and other senior officials of the commission.
The meeting, which was hosted by the Paramount Ruler of Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Edidem Akpabio Ukpa, at his palace in Ikot Edor, reviewed the activities of the NDDC over the years and passed a vote of confidence on the current board and management of the commission.
Edidem Ukpa, who is also the President of Eket Senatorial District Traditional Rulers Council, noted that TROMPCON played a key role in the establishment of the NDDC and, therefore, saw it as a duty to continue to show solidarity to the interventionist agency. He said that the challenges facing the NDDC were enormous and as such required the support of all stakeholders in the region.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer acknowledged the pioneering role of TRAMPCON in the establishment of the commission and promised to sustain the existing relationship with the traditional rulers in the overall interest of the Niger Delta region. He expressed appreciation for the support of TROMPCON over the years and urged the group not to relent, especially now that Nigeria was passing through difficult economic times.
Sir Dan-Abia said that the falling price of crude oil in the international market was adversely affecting the funding of the commission. According to him, “we have had to put on an extra thinking cap to be able to manage the lean resources available for the execution of development projects. This is necessary for us to meet the expectations of our people who are not interested in excuses.”
The NDDC MD urged the traditional rulers to extend their support to the new democratically elected leaders at the federal level and the Niger Delta states in the interest of peace and development. He added: “The days of using violence as a means of drawing attention to the needs of the region are over. It is only in a peaceful environment that we can develop our region.”