Port Harcourt — The Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, says the Commission’s projects and skills acquisition programmes, have helped to curb the incidence of pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
Pondei spoke when he hosted a contingent from the Nigerian Naval War College, led by the Commandant, Rear Admiral Adeseye Ayobanjo, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.
The NDDC boss explained that pipeline vandalism has reduced significantly over the past five years, and has contributed to economic and social stability in the Niger Delta region.
He said that this was achieved by engaging the youths through skill acquisition and economic empowerment programmes.
The NDDC, Pondei noted, was established for the specific purpose of addressing agitations that arose from the Niger Delta region being underdeveloped.
“Over the years, there have been training programmes that have absorbed the youths and the current focus at the NDDC is to expand these training programmes to keep the youths away from pipeline vandalism and other crimes.”
Pondei further said that it was not the job of the NDDC to engage in pipeline security and surveillance, stating that the Commission was rather focused on interventionists programmes which ensured stability in the region.
The NDDC boss explained that such interventionist programmes included skills acquisition programmes, Post-graduate scholarships covering Masters and Doctorate Degrees for youths of the Niger Delta region.
He said the Commission was looking at proposals to extend its scholarship scheme to undergraduates in Nigerian Universities.
Earlier, the Commandant of the Nigerian Naval War College, Rear Admiral Ayobanjo, said the Warfare Course 4 participants were on a study tour of key stakeholders who impact on the security and stability of the Niger Delta region.
Ayobanjo said the theme of the Course was, “Curbing Pipeline Vandalism; Towards Enhancing Socio-economic Development in Rivers State.” Ayobanjo commended the NDDC for its critical role in the security of the region.