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Mon, Jul 31, 2023 6:35 PM

Bayelsa Elders Call on NDDC to Collaborate in Resolving Niger Delta Flood Crisis

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Bayelsa Elders Call on NDDC to Collaborate in Resolving Niger Delta Flood Crisis
Bayelsa Elders Council (BEC) has urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to work collaboratively with other development agencies and state governments to find a sustainable solution to the perennial flood challenges in the Niger Delta region. The BEC emphasized that they have conducted a study on flood management and are waiting for the implementation of its recommendations. The NDDC responded by assuring the council that they are taking measures to mitigate the effects of the flood.

The Bayelsa Elders Council (BEC) has called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to join forces with other development agencies and state governments to address the long-standing issue of flooding in the Niger Delta region. During an interactive meeting with the NDDC managing director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, the chairman of the council and former deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd), emphasized the importance of finding a lasting solution to the recurring floods.

Jonah stated that the Elders Council, which primarily consists of traditional rulers, had commissioned a study on flood management in the state. He further confirmed that the study's report is ready for implementation and awaits the necessary actions. In this regard, the BEC leader commended President Bola Tinubu for retaining Dr Samuel Ogbuku as the NDDC chief executive officer and urged for increased funding for the commission.

Highlighting the challenges faced by the NDDC, Jonah pointed out that a major hindrance to sufficient funding is the outstanding debts owed by International Oil Companies (IOCs) and the federal government. The chairman appealed to these defaulting oil companies to fulfill their statutory obligations to the commission, as it plays a crucial role in accelerating the development of the Niger Delta region.

Responding to the concerns raised by BEC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku reassured the council that the NDDC is already taking steps to address the impacts of flooding in the region. Ogbuku revealed plans to construct camp sites in Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers states as a temporary measure, while a dam would serve as the permanent solution.

Ogbuku disclosed that the NDDC has engaged a consultant to design the proposed dam and that it would enable them to collaborate with development partners and the federal government to secure necessary commitments for execution and participation. He further highlighted the potential of the dam project, stating that it would transform the disaster of flood into an asset by generating power.

In addition to flood mitigation, Ogbuku informed the elders council about NDDC's previous interventions in rehabilitating flood-damaged sections of the East-West Road at Ahoada and Mbiama in Rivers State and Patani in Delta State in 2022. These repairs ensured the restoration of crucial links between Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta states.

Addressing the issue of inadequate funds, Dr Samuel Ogbuku mentioned that the NDDC has embraced the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) model to secure alternative sources of funding for important development projects and programs. The commission hosted a successful PPP summit in Lagos with the theme "Rewind to Rebirth," which generated positive responses.

Ogbuku cited the construction of the Ogbia-Nembe Road, jointly funded by the NDDC and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), as a successful model of what can be achieved through PPP partnerships.

In conclusion, the BEC emphasized the urgency of collaborative efforts to tackle the flooding issue in the Niger Delta region. The NDDC assured the council of their commitment to mitigating the flood impacts and exploring optimal solutions in collaboration with various stakeholders. By working together, it is hoped that a long-lasting resolution will be achieved, ensuring a more secure and prosperous future for the people of the Niger Delta region.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-07-31 News

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