By Abujah Racheal
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has reiterated its commitment to re-position the region through the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
The Chairman, Governing Board of NDDC, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) said this when the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bayo Onanuga and other management staff visited him on Friday in Abuja.
He said the commission had a programme whereby fibre optic cables were given to the region to increase internet access.
“You don’t need to be a university graduate to be an ICT guru.
“If we create ICT in the region, it will boost our economy, he said.
The chairman said the commission was also looking at the area of sport, young boys and girls could be engaged competitively.
“Today, sport is a huge industry. What one footballer earns is what a local government makes.
“It is an area that we must engage our young girls and boys competitively,” he added.
Ndoma-Egba commended the effort of the board in the development of the region so far.
“We are committed to doing things right, that is why we have the concept of the four Rs, Restructuring of the balance sheet, Reform of governance protocols, Restore the NDDC’s core mandate, and Reaffirm the Commission’s collective commitment to do what is right.’’
According to the chairman, the commission is being funded largely from proceeds from oil.
“Someday, we don’t know when but the oil will finish. If it thus finishes, Technology will make it less important.
“Today, people are talking of electric cars, while fuel pumps in some places in the world are being replaced by electric and gas pumps.
“So, we must begin to contemplate developing the region beyond oil, and to do so we have to envisage a frame work that can drive development beyond oil,” he said.
Ndoma-Egba said that the commission would set up a development bank that would guarantee development in the Niger Delta region.
According him, the advantage of the development bank is to drive big projects being embarked upon by the bank.
He said the board inherited more than 10,000 contracts, and cancelled more than N200 billion worth of contracts, because they lacked manpower.
“You see one person doing more than 50 projects, so we are trying to streamline to see that everything is balanced,” he said.