NDDC Not Launching Pad for Political Activities, Says MD

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has asserted that the commission will no long be a launching pad for political activities as it is widely perceived.

Ogbuku said that a new dawn has come for the NDDC to be repositioned and be accepted internationally based on its sustainable development drives for the region.

The NDDC boss made the assertion Wenesday during the signing of an agreement with KPMG, a multinational business management consultancy firm, to provide advisory services to the commission on global best practices in corporate governance culture and internal processes.

Speaking on the engagement with KPMG, Ogbuku stressed that the partnership would help elevate the commission’s processes to international standards.  

He said the development is in compliance with the vision of the President Bola Tinubu administration that believes in transparency and good governance. 

The NDDC boss said: “NDDC has gone through different stages of turmoil and has also over the years being called all sorts of names as if NDDC has not been a serious organisation. We took up that as a challenge and said NDDC is not a complete failure as it is being perceived.

“We believe by partnering with KPMG to provide advisory services for governance, it is going to launch NDDC into the international level of acceptance. We want to do things differently and we mean it. 

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“We believe it wasn’t also easy because the story of engaging KPMG actually took us through a long groute. First of all, was our ability to convince KPMG to come and undertake this task, they had to involve their international headquarters to be part of the negotiation.

“By trying to take this step, that means we want to be internally regulated; we want to create standards; we want to strengthen the institution so that whatever we leave behind it will be difficult for anyone to upturn it so that NDDC should be known for standard just the way some other firms are. NDDC will not be seen as a launching pad for political activities anymore, just as it is being perceived.”

Speaking further, the NDDC boss said: “As part of our drive in the administration by engaging development partners and donor agencies in the development of the Niger Delta, we believe this is the first step we will be taking to build that confidence. Because they also need to see that confidence on our part to be sure they are dealing with a responsible organisation. 

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“We are trying to prove that NDDC is a responsible organisation that anybody can do business with. We are in compliance with the vision of the new administration of President Bola Tinubu that believes in transparency and good governance.”

Commending the KPMG team for giving the commission the opportunity for partnership, Ogbuku said: “The event of today is to tell the world that NDDC has been reborn, whatever impression you had with NDDC, watch out, time for change has come.”

On his part, Lead Partner and Head, Governance Processes, KPMG, Mr Tolu Odukale, commended the NDDC leadership for partnering with the KPMG in the development of the Niger Delta region.

He noted that the relationship would boost the confidence of investors and development partners and promised that KPMG would bring all its skills and experiences to boost NDDC’s internal processes and ensure accountability and transparency.

“We are promising that we will be bringing in all our skills and experience having worked with a number of private and public enterprises, as well as supporting regulators that create a standard for similar organisations. All these we will be bringing this experience to the table so to help the management of NDDC to achieve its objective,” Odukale said.

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