The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mrs Ibim Semenitari and her team will on Friday, 6th of May try to court more partners for the execution of the commission’s statutory mandate of stimulating peace and prosperity in the Niger Delta region as they meet with stakeholders in the Agriculture, Agro-Allied, Processing/Packaging industry in faraway Texas in the United States of America.
Mrs Semenitari and the NDDC delegation are attending the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference taking place in Houston, Texas. The OTC which began on Sunday, 1st of May and is expected to culminate on Friday the 6th of May is a globally recognised conference which brings together 100,000 industry leaders from more than 130 countries looking to develop business partnerships in the oil and gas sector.
Discoursing Niger Delta Development through Agriculture over Breakfast
Researchers and development agencies have long agreed that the Niger Delta region which is plagued with abject poverty is also endowed with huge potentials for agriculture that is enough to feed the whole of West Africa, hence a viable agricultural development strategy and commitment can promote food security, employment generation and wealth creation.
It is on this basis that the NDDC has booked the Downtown Club in Houston, Texas for a breakfast meeting titled “Promoting Investment in Niger Delta’s agriculture sector” as an avenue for interacting investors.
Information posted on the commission’s website states clearly that:
“The event has been designed to create an appropriate platform for the commission to invite and interface with leading experts and stakeholders in the Agriculture, Agro-Allied, Processing/Packaging industry; for the purpose of attracting investments that will key into the boundless potential of this sector in contributing to the growth and development of not only the Niger Delta people/region but Nigeria’s economy as well”.
With dwindling oil revenues and the need to look for alternative funding, the outcome of the Friday meeting is imperative to the renewed drive of the NDDC to live up to its founding principles especially since the new Chief Executive took over leadership in December 2015.
Confronted by the increasingly shrinking resources available to the commission as a result of the dip in global oil prices, the NDDC boss during her appearance before a joint session of the National Assembly asked the lawmakers to prevail on oil companies operating in the region to comply fully with the law in their remittances to the commission. In response to her appeal, the House of Representatives is proposing an amendment to the NLNG Act which will now include provisions which will compel it to make statutory contributions to the NDDC.