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NDDC restates commitment to Niger Delta’s $129m agro project

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•Rules out witch-hunt in forensic audit

Despite its seeming instability, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) management has reiterated commitment to the $129.17 million agricultural project in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

NDDC’s Acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, said the interventionist agency remained committed to its partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the $129.17 million Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Programme in the region.

Pondei, while speaking at a project facilitation training in Port Harcourt yesterday, stated that the commission was resolute to transform the rural economy of the area and improve the livelihood of the citizens.

Represented by the commission’s Director, Agriculture and Fisheries, George Ero, the NDDC boss said the LIFE-ND project was planned with a financing gap of six years, adding that it had both a first phase of six years, with parallel financing from the agency to the tune of $30 million and an additional six years to be financed in the future by other partners and an additional IFAD loan.

He explained that the NDDC would at all times support activities that benefit the citizens of the region, noting that the goal of the project was to transform the rural economy in the Niger Delta.Pondei said the commission would continuously partner with development organisations like the IFAD in bringing the best to the people of the oil-bearing states.

The National Project Coordinator for LIFE-ND programme, Sanni Fatai, stressed that the project would enhance the income, food security and job creation for rural youths and women through agricultural enterprise development on a sustainable basis in the area.In her remarks, IFAD Country Representative, Nadine Gbossa, pointed out that the programme would provide more opportunities to the youths and women in the region.

She explained that IFAD was very keen to see the success of the project, adding that the UN agency would give priority to the project and collaborate with the other funding partners to ensure its success.

Meanwhile, NDDC’s Acting Executive Director (Projects), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, has insisted that the forensic audit being carried out by the commission is not meant to witch hunt anybody.He made the position known yesterday while addressing newsmen in Asaba.Ojougboh reassured Nigerians that the report of the exercise would be implemented to the letter.


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Kemebradikumo PondeiNDDC
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