Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has stressed the importance of collaboration between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the different levels of government in the development of the Niger Delta region.
Ayade said this on Thursday in Calabar when members of the Board and Management of NDDC paid him a courtesy visit in Calabar.
According to Ayade, Cross River deserved sympathy because it was disadvantaged among the Niger Delta states.
He explained that the state was the most disadvantaged among NDDC states in the area of infrastructural projects.
“We are not competitors. We are partners in progress and as such, all the states in the Niger Delta and the NDDC must work in harmony’’, he said.
The governor appealed to NDDC to support the state government in the development of its signature projects, the Bakassi Deep Sea port and the Super Highway.
Earlier, the Chairman of the NDDC board, Victor Ndoma-Egba, told the governor that the Commission was working with a new attitude of cooperation and collaboration.
He said that the Commission had invited the Presidency to re-activate the Advisory Committee as well as the Project Monitoring Committee of the Commission to ensure that all stakeholders work in harmony.
“One of the first decisions taken by the board was the re-activation of all dormant organs of the Commission.
“The Advisory Committee was made up of all the governors of the NDDC member states and two other members appointed by Mr. President,’’ he said.
According to him, the NDDC had completed 168 projects in the state, adding that 150 projects are on-going.
In his remarks, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, assured the governor that the Commission would re-engineer its processes to accommodate more projects for Cross River.
“In an environment where some state governors are saying that they don’t need more projects, Cross Rivers is yearning for more. So we will give them more’’, he assured.
He said that the NDDC was not only interested in building physical infrastructure but was also helping to build human capital.