The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has inaugurated a Committee for the completion and commissioning of its 13-floor new permanent headquarters at the Eastern By-Pass, Port Harcourt.
Speaking during the inauguration at the new office complex, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, observed that the commission had been a tenant, operating out of rented buildings for over twenty years of its existence.
He noted: “The Headquarters Project, which was commenced in the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC times, has in itself been a never-ending undertaking of the Commission all this while, constituting a permanent drain on its resources with continuous flow of funds and resources to the project over these years.
“Several revisions, redesigns and amendments later, it was still without a completion schedule or date at the inception of the Interim Management Committee, IMC. Today we are happy that it is now a project under final completion phases.”
Pondei said that members of the committee were selected to see to the end of the process and plan for a befitting commissioning of the edifice, noting: “that we are performing this inauguration ceremony from within the structure itself is a testimony to the resilience of the Commission under the IMC to bring this project to an end and to deliver a befitting home to the permanent ownership and use of the NDDC.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that because of the importance of the project, it was necessary to ensure that there were no further bottle-necks or delays arising from any bureaucracy.
He stated: “We have decided that the Acting Executive Director Projects, EDP, of the Commission will directly handle and chair this assignment to the benefit of the Commission.”
In his remarks, the EDP and chairman of the committee, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the IMC the opportunity to serve, noting that the members were ever ready to work, in spite of all the distractions from those who he said did not mean well for the Niger Delta region.
He said: “We have put everything behind us and we have resolved to work for the betterment of the Niger Delta. Our first mandate is to complete and commission the new NDDC headquarters.”
He thanked the Acting Managing Director for selecting members of the committee and assured that they would not disappoint him and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. He “Going forward, the Commission has resolved to go on with the job of developing the Niger Delta region.
“We will resume our inspections and all activities of the commission will continue as usual. We have grown above the distractions and we urge Nigerians to discountenance every mud thrown at the IMC and the NDDC.”
Ojougboh said that the task of completing the new headquarters was a test of the will of the Commission to make sure that it did not derail. We promise Mr. President and Nigerians that we will deliver as expected.
He re-iterated that the forensic audit was progressing as planned and that nothing would prevent it from being completed.
He charged the members of the committee to see the assignment as a very serious task that must be given all their energy.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, (middle) speaking during the inauguration of the Committee for the completion and commissioning of the new permanent headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Left is the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, while the Director Project Monitoring and Supervision, Engr. Tonye George is on the right.