Despite criticisms, world bodies recognise our efforts, says NDDC boss
NigerDelta Development Commission (NDDC) has said that despite criticism it faces in Nigeria, it is recognised by global bodies.
Interim Administrator of the commission, Dr. Effiong Akwa, made the observation while dedicating an award NDDC received from African Union Commission (AUC) to President Muhammadu Buhari.
In its first Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Annual Forum held in Cairo, Egypt at the weekend, the African Union(AU) awarded NDDC the best “intervention agency for SMEs and Livelihood Support”.
AU’s acting Director for Industry, Minerals, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Dr. Charles Newton Chiumya, said NDDC was recognised for supporting and promoting SMEs and livelihood in Niger Delta and Africa, particularly among women and youths.
Akwa attributed the feat by the NDDC to Buhari’s commitment to rebrand and restructure the commission for optimum performance.
The interim administrator, who was represented at the event by his Special Adviser, Youths and former Commissioner in Bayelsa State, Udengs Eradiri, said the global recognition was an eloquent testimony that the NDDC, despite its challenges, had over the years impacted positively on livelihood and economic empowerment of Niger Delta, Nigeria and Africa.
He said while people expressed mixed feelings in Nigeria about the performance of the Commission, global institutions and organisations could appreciate efforts by NDDC to promote industrialisation through its support for SMEs.
Akwa said: “This award is dedicated to President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to rebranding and restructuring NDDC for optimum performance. I feel elated because truly, the NDDC, over the years, has been contributing immensely without blowing its trumpet to people’s wellbeing.
“Whereas some people back home throw stones at the NDDC, the commission’s positive impact is receiving global recognition. It means that NDDC has actually done well in developing Niger Delta and also creating an impact in the lives of its people.
“NDDC has done a lot despite criticisms. Let’s cast our minds back to where we were before the creation of the commission and where we are today. Communities that didn’t have roads before are now accessible by roads. People now have access to healthcare, schools and most people’s lives have changed because of the NDDC. People who didn’t have water, light, and jetties have them because of the interventions of the NDDC. While some people are throwing stones at home, internationally we are getting recognition.”
Akwa said the award would motivate the NDDC to do more for the Niger Delta by reviewing the qualities of its projects, programmes and infrastructures in line with the recommendations of the forensic audit report.