P/HARCOURT – The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commissioned a 1.5-kilometre internal road it constructed at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State.
Inaugurating the project, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, stated that it was part of the efforts of the Commission to build the capacity of universities in the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, who was accompanied by the Bayelsa State representative on the Board of the NDDC, Senator Denyanbofa Dimaro and other Directors of the Commission, also inspected an on-going hostel project at the university.
Ogbuku noted that apart from the road and hostel, the NDDC recently donated a 1,000KVA generator and a brand-new 23-seater bus to the university.
He stated: “Our work at the NDDC is not just to build roads and bridges; we are also concerned about manpower development which is the forte of universities.”
Speaking earlier, during a courtesy call at the Senate Building of the university, the NDDC boss urged Nigerian universities to invest more resources and energy on research, as a way of ensuring their self-sustainability.
Ogbuku said: “We will want to partner with the NDU in the area of research. I encourage you to put in more efforts in medical and chemical research, which will ultimately be beneficial to the society at large.”
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the Niger Delta University, Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo, commended the NDDC for assisting the institution in the provision of infrastructure.
He, however, called for more support in the area of electricity, hostels and the completion of the University Cardio-Vascular Hospital to boost its efforts in research and development.
Edoumiekumo remarked that collaboration with the NDDC was imperative, given the lean resources available to the university to pursue its objective of positively impacting the Niger Delta region.
The Vice Chancellor thanked the NDDC for donating electricity generators and transformers to the university and appealed for the redemption of the promise of 2,000 solar street lights from the Commission.
He described the university as “the manpower development ground for the entire Niger Delta region,” noting that with an undergraduate student population of 21,451, the NDU was in dire need of more hostels.
Meanwhile, NDDC, its attention had been drawn to a news story broadcast on some radio stations in Port Harcourt, Rivers state stating that a group known as the Alliance for Growth and Development in Rivers State has sued the NDDC at the Rivers State High Court, seeking declaratory and injunctive reliefs to restrain the Commission from paying contractors over N200 billion desilting contracts.
“We wish to state that the news report quoting the Alliance for Growth and Development is misleading and without foundation as it is based on false premises”, Dr. Ibitoye Abosede, Director of Public Relations of the Commission said in a statement.
“It is important to state that at the inaugural meeting of the 6th Governing Board of the NDDC in the first week of January 2023, the Board suspended the processing and payments of all desilting contracts and directed a comprehensive review of all contract in the Commission with a view to establishing transparency and accountability in the Commission’s processes.
“Against this background, therefore, it is clear that the legal action is misconceived. It is driven by bad faith and calculated to distract the current Board from the path of reforming the NDDC in line with its mantra of making a difference in the region.
“We call on the general public to discountenance the news report and join the new Board in its reform efforts geared towards repositioning the Commission to make a positive difference in the Niger Delta Region”, the Commission said.