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NDDC opens dialogue with IYC over threat to shut down commission

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Agency pledges to strengthen security in coastal communities

As the 30-day ultimatum the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) gave the presidency to appoint a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) closes, the agency yesterday, sued for calm, saying it was initiating dialogue with the youths.

The IYC and leaders of other ethnic nationalities in the region, had last week, issued a 30-day ultimatum to the presidency to appoint a substantive board for be NDDC without further delay or risk shutting down of the commission’s headquarters.

Speaking yesterday at a media briefing, as part of activities for his familiarisation and sensitisation tour of youth groups in the region, Special Assistant on Youth Matters to the Sole Administrator, Orusakwe Aseimiegha, canvassed peaceful resolution of the issues to usher in the needed development.

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He said while the commission may have recorded marginal success in human and physical development, political interference, systemic distortions, uncoordinated projects implementation, institutional constraints, lack of focus, high overhead costs, absence of consensus building and corruption, has stilted its growth.

MEANWHILE, the NDDC has pledged to assist local government areas to beef up security in coastal communities of the Niger Delta region. Akwa stated this when a delegation of Local Government Chairmen of Niger Delta Coastal Communities visited at NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

A statement issued by Director of Corporate Affairs at NDDC, Ibitoye Abosede, said although the responsibility for securing life and property in the country rested with the Federal Government, the NDDC as an interventionist agency had a duty to assist communities in its mandate states.

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“It is good that as local government chairmen, you are also interested in ensuring security in the rural areas. I am delighted that as council chairmen, you are keen on finding solutions to our security challenges,” the statement reads.

He said the commission would support the Federal Government to bridge the gap in addressing the security challenges in the country, stating that the council chairmen’s request would be forwarded to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Earlier, Chairman of Ibeno Council of Akwa Ibom State, Williams Mkpah, solicited the commission’s assistance in the procurement of security boats and engines for fishermen in the coastal communities of the Niger Delta region.

He lamented that for many years, fishermen and commercial activities in the coastal communities had suffered several attacks from pirates, who operate along the Atlantic coast and creeks.

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