NDDC to Tackle Ecological Problem in Special Communities
3 Aug 2006
Author: Funke Oduwole
Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has disclosed plans to give priority to projects in communities experiencing peculiar problems in the region.
Managing Director of the commission, Mr Emmanuel Aguariavwodo said a special unit has been set up to tackle projects in such communities.
He spoke in Port Harcourt while receiving a delegation of chiefs and youths leaders from Gbaramatu Kingdom Warri South-West Delta State at the commission's head quarters.
He said, the new unit would help in fast-tracking development projects in difficult terrains and inaccessible communities in the region.
According to Aguariavwodo: "The NDDC is determined to conquer nature in these environmentally challenging areas in order to bring basic amenities to these oil-rich but needy communities".
He said during his familiarization tour of Gbaramatu Kingdom and its environs, he discovered that there was really nothing to celebrate in the area despite their huge oil reserve and promised that since water was their first priority, "the NDDC will mobilize its Special Unit next week to ensure that the water project is completed before the end of this year".
"A regional water scheme along the bank of the Escravos will surely come on stream, because we are determined to move Gbaramatu Kingdom away from where it is today. We are determined to ensure that before the end of the year, water will flow in Gbaramatu", Aguariavwodo said.
He regretted that some NDDC projects in Gbaramatu have not been performing due to the persistent crisis experienced in the area, but pointed out that the commission was taking steps to review its strategy in order to alleviate the suffering of the people.
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation, Chief Jonathan Ari had presented a four-point agenda, which he said were priority areas where they wanted the NDDC to intervene in Gbaramatu. He said they include potable water supply, land reclamation, health care and education.
Describing Gbaramatu Kingdom as peace-loving, Ari said they were particularly happy for the invitation by the NDDC to discuss with them, particularly coming on the heels of Aguariavwodo's tour of their area.
"Peace is hinged on fulfilling promises made. I assure you of peace if you can help our people. If you make us happy, we will ensure peace reigns. We need these development projects to cool down tempers. Already we appreciate what the NDDC is doing, which is why we have strong faith in the Commission", he said.