The Minister of Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh, has warned the new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to either perform or get booted out of the system.
He also challenged the newly inaugurated board on the need to change the narratives around the commission.
The minister gave the charge on Thursday, November 16, while inaugurating the Chiedu Ebie-led NDDC Board in Abuja.
He explained that the current administration has a template to measure performance and any board that fails to measure up will be shown the way out.
He said: “And it is also necessary for you to know that this administration is quite different from others because they are going to be a lot of supervision and monitoring in order for us to deliver.
“Mr. President as you are aware, two weeks ago, I, as a minister and the Permanent Secretary signed a performance bond, with Mr. President and the performance bond that we signed with Mr. President, has deliverables that are associated with the eight presidential priorities.
“And some of these deliverables have been assigned to various agencies under our supervision of which NDDC is one.
“And to that essence, you are expected to work towards delivering on those areas. And in order to do that as the Supervisory ministry, we are also there to assist you and guide you.”
He also said the members of the board would be made to sign performance bonds just like the ministers.
This, he however said will be done during a proposed retreat for NDDC board members and management team.
” So it’s very, very important because the President is not joking with this, and from time to time, we are expected to present our reports and there is also a committee that will be set up by Mr. President to monitor the performance of each ministry and the agencies.
“So I think I want this one to be behind your mind so that as you start your work, you know exactly what is expected from you.”
On the need to change the negative perspective about the Commission, Momoh said: “We are all aware that over time, there have been a lot of complaints about NDDC
“I want to also use this opportunity to appeal that this time around, we need to change the narratives.
“We cannot continue to do the same thing in the same way and we expect that we are going to achieve a different result.
“Collectively as we are here, I think apart from the three members representing other zones, well of course, I regard them as friends of the Niger Delta, every one of you is from the Niger Delta zone,
“You definitely should be committed to how that zone can be transformed.
“All those negative statements around the commission let us as much as possible, this time to say well under the presidency of Mr. President, Senator Bola Tinubu and my leadership in the ministry and yourself operating at that level, that all those negative statements about NDDC are changed.
“And what am I saying, there are quite a number of abandoned projects in NDDC, there are quite a number of indebtedness in NDDC.
He further posited that members of the board should take it as a responsibility to develop the region.
The minister said: “Because you are all from Niger Delta, and the progress of that area is supposed to be your utmost concern.”
Momoh also challenged the board on the need to complete abandoned projects scattered across the nine states that make up the commission.
He said: “So, I believe by the time you resume work, first of all, check around and see such projects and get them completed.”
He also urged the board to look inward, saying, “By the time you start project execution, let us focus on those projects that will give us a name. There are quite a number of them which of course, started long ago.”
He also appealed to the new management to offset the debt of the commission to its contractors, especially the local contractors with a “very small amount, not more than N30 million”.
He explained that by so doing the economic activities of the region would be boosted
He also urged the board to work together as a team.
This, he said is necessary if they want to record meaningful achievements.
He also reminded them of the consequences of conflict in the board, saying it could lead to the dissolution or sack of the entire board by the president.
“So that’s why we say you need to be advised from the beginning on the need to work in harmony with both members of the board and management, you need to work in harmony and make sure that you deliver and let it be recorded in your name that in your time NDDC was transformed,” he stressed.
The minister also urged the board to work as a team and avoid conflict.
He said: “Let me also advise you, you are going to work as a team. Needless to tell you that you need to work in harmony. You must work in harmony. Every person should understand his/her role.
“We have a management board and members of the board. By the time you know your roles. I don’t think there will be a problem. It’s only when you don’t engage yourself as one that is when you begin to have conflicts and when there is conflict you know what that can result to.”
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