The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has signed two more memoranda of understanding (MoU), to drive sustainable development in the Niger Delta region.
The MOUs signed with the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) and BudgIT Foundation were a follow-up on similar ones signed on May 15, 2017 ,with the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform in Nigeria (FOSTER) and Market Development Project in the Niger Delta (MADE).
NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsim Ekere, stated that the commission was determined to establish the right institutions, partnerships and strategies imperative to bringing true development to the Niger Delta.
He said the partnerships would reaffirm the collective commitment to building a better region “for us and the generations to which we must hand over a fitting bequest. A Niger Delta region that fulfills our expectations, rewards our aspirations and renews our faith in government and all other institutions of authority.”
Ekere disclosed that the partnership with PIND, a Chevron and USAID-funded non-governmental organisation, would assist the NDDC in “building peace, resolving conflicts, building capacity and providing the enabling environment for sustainable living in the region.”
“The commission has approved the collaboration, which will make it sustainable for the continuous professional development of the commission and the socio-economic regeneration of the Niger Delta region,” he said.
The NDDC boss said the objectives of the collaboration with PIND included “provision of technical assistance to the commission in strategy development, monitoring and evaluation, partnerships and stakeholder management; human and institutional capacity building/utilization, to improve productivity and service delivery in the commission.”
The MOU with BudgIT would offer mobile, online and offline solutions to trigger discussions around budgets and take budgeting beyond being a news item to becoming a focal point of debate among Nigerians.
“This is what we are determined to achieve, an openness that attracts interrogation and communal and stakeholder support and input,” he said.
Ekere noted that, in a democracy, citizens had the right to know how their taxes were expended in the delivery of public infrastructure and services.
Dr. Dara Akala, executive director of PIND, stated that the value of partnership could not be overemphasised and that collaboration was at the core of his organisation’s DNA.
He said: “It will be an act of self-delusion for any organisation to think that it can do it alone. This is the beginning of good things to come.
“Beyond the highlights, what will give us joy are those things that we can deliver to the people of the Niger Delta working together with NDDC.”