The Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, has described his emergence as winner of The Sun Public Service Award for 2018 as delightful, adding that the award is unbiased.
Ekere said he was particularly appreciative of the honour because it is a bold statement that the reforms his leadership introduced and implemented at the NDDC are recognised by an unbiased media outfit like The Sun.
The Sun Awards ceremony is billed to hold on Friday, January 25, 2019 at the Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. A total of 22 people will be honoured at the event.
Speaking in Abuja when a delegation led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Eric Osagie, presented a letter of notification on the award to him, Ekere said he felt fulfilled that in a little more than two years his leadership achieved its goal of reforming the NDDC.
He said: “Let me express my appreciation and delight for this honour from The Sun Newspaper. We are winning it back to back. And this is rare. I must really appreciate the management of the newspaper. I appreciate the fact that The Sun has followed very keenly the work we have done at the NDDC and the Niger Delta in the last two years plus.
“When we came in, we set out to reform the commission and to change the narrative. We set out to change the opaque nature of NDDC and the way it was doing business.
“I am glad that with the deployment of our 4R strategy we have been able to make tremendous progress. One of the greatest things that has happened in NDDC is that before our coming on board there were complaints that contractors run away with NDDC money after mobilisation. We have stopped that totally.
“Now contractors don’t run away with NDDC money because in awarding the contract we look at contractors that have not just technical capabilities but also financial capacity. We have stopped paying mobilisation. The contractor now has to commit his own funds and we pay by instalment as he executes the job.”
Talking specifically on achievement, Ekere also noted: “One other thing that we have achieved is that we have standardised the quality of jobs that contractors in NDDC do. The Niger Delta is a very challenged area as over 70 per cent of the landmass of Niger Delta is below sea level. If you are building infrastructure like road, you must, of necessity, employ the highest professional standard. The designs must be of international standard so that the infrastructure will stand the test of time.”
Earlier, The Sun MD commended the NDDC boss for carrying out reforms that have helped the commission to live up to expectation, in terms delivering quality and people-oriented projects.
He said Ekere emerged again winner of the Public Service Award in recognition of his continued giant strides in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), “which have brought about excellent service delivery and rapid development in the region.”
He praised Ekere for being focused and determined to effect the necessary change that would catapult NDDC to greater heights, saying: “Your mission at NDDC is not just to reform or alter the negative narrative of the Commission, but also to impact the lives and fortunes of the Niger Delta and its people.
“To achieve this, you drew up a roadmap code-named ‘The 4-Rs Strategy,’ with which you stepped out boldly to restructure the commission’s balance sheet, reform its governance systems, restore its core mandate and reaffirm a collective commitment to doing what is right.
“Two years after, you have birthed a new and improved NDDC, which works efficiently and discharges its core mandate professionally.”
Osagie said the Public Service Award was bestowed annually on a chief executive of government agency or parastatal “whose actions have clearly caused transformation.”