17 November 2014, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says it has commissioned and handed over about 3 strategic 60 kilometre roads constructed in Delta State, to the benefitting communities, while the commission is also set to inaugurate 37 mega projects and over 1,500 small-ticket projects, across the 9 states in the region between now and December 16 to mark the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Board by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Performing the commissioning of the 60 kilometre road projects, the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who traversed several local governments accompanied by the Chairman of the Governing Board, Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, the Managing Director, Sir Bassey Dan-Abia, the Executive Director Projects, Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli and the state representative from Delta state on the Governing Board of NDDC, Sir Tom Amioku.
The NDDC in a statement by its Head of Communications, Mr. Ibitoye Abosede said the first road commissioned was the Iselu-Okaigben-Idungboko road and bridge, a new road by-pass to take traffic off Asaba in Delta State to Auchi in Edo State. According to the governor, the 25.7-kilometre road was of strategic importance to the state because it reduces the journey from Delta State to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by over an hour.
The NDDC disclosed that Governor Uduaghan also commissioned the 42.6-kilometre Iselegu/Utagba-Uno/Obiaruku and the 18.4-kilometre Ugiliama/Eweshi/Ogume/Abbi roads all in Ndokwa West Local Government Area, noting that governance was a continuous process and as such all on-going projects in the area would be completed.
In his address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Sir Dan-Abia, said that the two roads in Ndokwa West have opened up the hinterland of Ndokwa nation to their neighbours in Obiaroko, Abraka and Warri. “The Ndokwas are known for their farming prowess. Now, transporting their produce to markets in cities like Warri and Sapele will no longer pose any problem.”
He said: “I am proud to say that in line with the transformation agenda of the President, the NDDC is set to commission a total of 37 mega projects and over1,500 small-ticket projects, across the region to commemorate the first year of this board, between now and December 16, 2014. This will be in addition to the various youth and women empowerment programmes. This board, only recently approved scholarships for 200 graduate students from the region, to pursue higher degrees abroad.”
Bassey Dan-Abia said that the inauguration of the present Board had seen the metamorphoses of the Commission, from an agency “that is determined to make a difference” to the one “that is making the difference” in new ways, adding that it’s a new transformational NDDC with a more cohesive and inclusive leadership, reaching far beyond the component states, and always ready to collaborate with willing partners.
Speaking on behalf of the benefitting communities, the President-General of Ogume Community, Chief Gregory Onah said that the completion of the two road projects in their area had shown that the Ndokwa nation was not totally left out in the scheme of development by the Niger Delta Development Commission.