The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, says that President Muhammadu Buhari will be invited to inaugurate the 13-floor new permanent headquarters of the Commission in Port Harcourt, this year.
Prof Pondei, who spoke during an inspection of the high-rise office complex at the Eastern By-Pass, remarked that the building was impressive and a befitting testimony of what the NDDC was capable of achieving.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, who was performing his first official assignment outside the Commission, was accompanied by the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang; Mrs. Caroline Nagbo and Cecilia Bukola Akintomide, who are members of the enlarged Interim Management Committee, IMC.
Prof Pondei declared: “We must make sure that this edifice is completed and handed over to Mr President for commissioning within the second quarter of this year. We will give the contractor all the necessary support to ensure that the project was completed on schedule.”
“The consultant has assured us that the contractors will achieve the March 31, 2020 target date for the completion of the project.”
The NDDC boss expressed satisfaction with what he saw at the new office complex, noting that it would provide a secure and conducive working environment for staff.
Talking about the forensic audit, which the Interim Management had been charged to oversee, the Acting Managing Director said that the Commission was ready for the commencement of the exercise.
According to him: “It is not going to be a witch-hunt. It is rather a measure that is necessary to find out what bedeviled the NDDC in the past. As such, the exercise will be carried out without fear or favour and there will be no sacred cows.”
“It is part of the mandate of the IMC to reposition the NDDC and make sure that the mistakes of the past are corrected and ensure that going forward, NDDC will work towards realizing its mandate of fast-tracking development in the Niger Delta region.
Prof Pondei said further: “The IMC will change the way things have been done in the past and we are determined to work as a team. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs has charged us to change the way things are done in NDDC and focus on executing legacy projects that will impact lives in the region.”
He assured that members of the IMC would work as a team to achieve the goal set for them by President Buhari, adding: “We intend to work in synergy with National Assembly and our supervising Ministry.”
The Project Coordinator of the NDDC permanent headquarters, Architect Ebiwene Bozimo, affirmed that the contractors would meet the target date of March 31 for the “practical completion” of the project.
He said that apart from the 13-storey main building, the complex also included a four-storey ancillary building, gate house and security blocks.
He explained that the four-storey building will accommodate facilities such as a medical centre, car park, restaurant, bank, among others.
The NDDC inspection team also visited three of the Commission’s warehouses in Port Harcourt, and took stock of various equipment and vehicles waiting to be distributed across the region.
They included modular Cold chains for the storage of vaccines, waste disposal trucks and bins meant for ministries of environment in the nine Niger Delta states to help in the campaign for a clean and healthy environment.