The United States Consulate in Nigeria has assured that it would continue to discuss and work with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to strengthen collaboration on strategies to improve peace and security to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the NDDC management at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Political and Economic Consul, Mr. Osman Tat, who represented the United States Consul General in Lagos, F. John Bray, said one of the primary goals of the US mission was to support Nigeria’s economic development.
The American delegation had earlier held a strategy meeting with the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere and the Chairman of the Commission’s Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma- Egba (SAN), on plans to drive the regional development process.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by the NDDC Chairman’s Special Assistant on Communication, Mrs Clara Braide, the US envoy explained that the meeting with the agency’s leadership was part of the regular consultations undertaken by the US Consulate in Lagos and the Embassy in Abuja. He said the Consulate recognized the fact that NDDC had a large number of projects spread across the nine states of the oil-producing region of Nigeria.
Osman Tat observed that it was important to consult with the Board and Management of NDDC in order to get a sense of how the projects were being executed to develop the region.
“We have looked at several projects being executed by the NDDC and the ones they intend to undertake in the future.
“We have had a fruitful discussion with the NDDC on projects implementation and we are interested in seeing that the projects and development activities are well executed for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta,” the US Envoy remarked.
He affirmed that NDDC was at the nexus of development, adding that its projects cut across different sectors ranging from healthcare to education and infrastructure. He said that the projects were necessary to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.
The diplomat stated the interest of the United States in seeing a free, fair, transparent and non-violent election in Nigeria in 2019.
Responding, the board chairman, Senator Ndoma-Egba said the NDDC was at the heart of the Niger Delta, noting that the Commission had the solemn mandate to develop the region by engaging key stakeholders.
Ndoma-Egba emphasized the need for an enduring peace in the Niger Delta region, stating that security was critical for development and growth.
He noted that the NDDC, being an interventionist agency had little or no role to play in partisan politics.
“We are only interested in ensuring that there is a peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta region. And the only way we can achieve that is by bringing projects and development to the region,” Ndoma-Egba said.