The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commended the National Association of Niger Delta Students, NANDS, for promoting peace and dialogue as the preferred options for changing the fortunes of Nigeria’s oil-producing communities.
Speaking after receiving an award for excellence from the students’ body, the NDDC Director Corporate Affairs, Mr. Ibitoye Abosede, stated that the efforts to fast-track development in the Niger Delta must be driven by collaborative and non-violent methods.
The NDDC director, who was honoured as the “21st Century Icon of Meritorious Service and Role Model to the Younger Generation,” lamented that the oil-rich region had been kept down by poverty and underdevelopment.
Abosede said that in the 17 years of its existence, the NDDC had tried in many ways to touch the lives of the people of Niger Delta. He noted that the Commission had assisted universities in the region in the area of accommodation and other infrastructure.
He said that the Commission had completed and handed over seven hostels in Imo State University, Federal University of Science and Technology, Owerri, University of Benin, the Delta State University, Abraka, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.
The NDDC director said that the Commission attached a great importance to education and would continue to assist the educational institutions. He said: “To enhance academic performance, the NDDC donated computers and modern science equipment valued at several millions of naira to tertiary institutions, secondary school and primary schools.”
Abosede recalled that the Commission had organised capacity-building workshops for secondary school science teachers to enhance their productivity and enable children in the rural communities to catch-up with their peers in the urban areas in terms of technology.
Earlier, the National President of NANDS, Comrade Lucky Emonefe, remarked that the students association was ready to execute programmes that would create strong educational consciousness in the Niger Delta region.
He said that the association would soon launch an education and sensitization programme tagged: “Save Education, Save the Future of the Niger Delta Region,” to sensitize the people of the region on the importance of education.
Emonefe said: “The leadership of the Niger Delta Students has taken a critical survey of problems and prospects of the Niger Delta region and we have observed that restiveness, militancy and lack of education consciousness are the prevalent issues confronting the region.”
The students’ leader said the association was also empowered to recognize distinguished Niger Delta personalities who had excelled in their chosen careers in life and had contributed to the growth and development of the society.
He said that the NDDC director was nominated for recognition after a thorough study of his antecedents, especially his outstanding leadership qualities and transparent service to the Niger Delta region.
He added that the director’s strong commitments to repositioning of the NDDC and taking it to greater heights, as well as his relentless efforts in advocating for peace and sustainable development in the Niger Delta could not go unnoticed