STRATEGIC COLLABORATION FOR CHANGE: NDDC signs MOU with MADE

MADE Team Lead Tunde Oderinde in a handshake with the MD of NDDC, Nsima Ekere after signing the MOU

Our gathering today serves as an important milestone for the broad plan of action set in motion by the new Governing Board and Management of the NDDC to strengthen NDDC for the achievements of its core mandate: the development of the people and the Niger Delta region.

From inception, we recognized the need to actively seek and engage key stakeholders and partners to collaborate with and thereby act as the integrator for all plans to develop the Niger Delta. I am indeed pleased that the series of conversations we began late last year are beginning to bear fruit, with the signing today of a Memorandum of Understanding with Market Development Project in the Niger Delta, MADE. Under the terms of the MOU, MADE will work with NDDC to boost efforts at stimulating sustainable, pro-poor growth in selected agricultural and other input markets. We will also work to improve the position of economically active but disadvantaged men and women in these markets, by making them more inclusive.

This MOU will also enable grant funding for sustainable development initiatives, as well as stimulate growth in Non-Oil Products through enhanced oil palm production, development of poultry farming, training in the production of finished leather goods, training in aquatic farming and media and ICT supported agriculture extension service of the Presidential Amnesty Program.

The need to diversify the nation’s economy, in general, and that of the Niger Delta, in particular, has never been more imperative. Economic diversification is vital to Niger Delta region’s long-term economic growth and we must align ourselves with initiatives that seek to advance this very vital cause. For this reason, agriculture and other factor markets must be given much needed attention, in order to exploit opportunities that can create vast number of jobs and boost employment profile of the Niger Delta region.

Government partnership with the private sector in the non-oil sector, especially agriculture, and the fostering of an environment that promotes innovation, encourages creativity, attracts investments and engenders technological advancements will serve as the platform upon which the economic and social advancement of the Niger Delta region must be established.

Beyond the deliverables outlined in the MOU, it is our earnest expectation that our collaboration with MADE will help management focus efforts and resources on social outcomes that really matter to the people of the Niger Delta. We hope to build a strong and broad-based support network for the expansion of the economy of the Niger Delta and promote one that is healthy, flexible, and not tied to a single industry or market sector. We must build an economy that contains a mix of small, medium, and large businesses, one in which every Niger Deltan is a stakeholder, participant and investor.

By this initiative, we hope to send a strong and clear message to the people of the Niger Delta, as well as all Nigerians and the international community, that the new Governing Board and Management of the NDDC is committed to ensuring that we establish, for the Commission and the Niger Delta region, enduring instruments and institutions vital to fulfilling both our mandate and the expectations of the people.

Let me restate our determination, as Board and Management, to restoring our core mandate, restructuring our balance sheet and reaffirming our commitment to doing what is right and proper, at all times, for the benefit of the people of this great region. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us all, at this time, to pledge total adherence to the letters and vision of this partnership, as well as the integrity and spirit of its binding MOU to which we append, today, our signatures and intent.

Once more, I welcome the team from MADE to the Commission. May I restate that I look forward, with enthusiasm and conviction, to working with you to deliver on the goals set out in the MOU and in the larger context, to make the Niger Delta the glorious, productive and constantly developing place we envision it to be.

REMARKS BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (NDDC) AT THE SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU)BETWEEN THE NDDC AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT IN THE NIGER DELTA (MADE) AT NDDC CORPORATE OFFICE, 167, ABA ROAD, PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE ON MAY 15, 2017

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