The Bayelsa Elders Consultative Council (BECC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the appointment of Professor Nelson Brambaifa as the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The Group also congratulated President Buhari on his electoral victory and called on him to confirm the professor of pharmacology for a substantive tenure, saying that he is most suited to “take the Commission to the next level” and leading the interventionist agency towards achieving its mandate of regional development.
In its communique, issued in Yenagoa, the group, made up of distinguished leaders and traditional rulers of oil-rich Bayelsa State, expressed confidence in the new NDDC boss, stating that Professor Brambaifa would use his wisdom, wealth of experience and good office to bring about sustainable peace and development in the Niger Delta region.
Acting Chairman of Council, King Malla Sasime, who presided over the extraordinary meeting, recognised the longstanding track record of Professor Brambaifa, who was paying a courtesy visit to the council, saying that the people of the Niger Delta were “solidly behind” him.
They called on NDDC fast track the completion of the Ogbia-Nembe road, as well as complete arrangements to commence the Nembe-Brass road. They also urged the NDDC boss to use his good offices to take over the Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ekewe road, to ensure its completion.
King Malla Sasime also commended Professor Brambaifa for resolving to pay contractors who had been owed by past administrations of the Commission, as well as efforts by his team to improve peace and security in the region and the empowerment of the people.
In his response, Prof Nelson Brambaifa promised to remain committed to the vision of President Buhari to take the Niger Delta to the next level, saying that he planned to fast track infrastructural development and improve the living conditions of the people.
“The buck stops on my table,” he said. “I am aware of that. And I must do my best to bring development to our people.”
He added: “Since we took over, we have commenced the prompt payment of all contractors who have completed their projects. Many of them stay in their houses and are receiving alert. Many of them are surprised. Because we must stop the era of 10 per cent and fast track the completion of our projects for the people’s benefits. That’s why President Buhari appointed us.”
Professor Brambaifa promised to bring about capacity building, as well as promote efforts at improving educational standards in the region. “For that reason, the NDDC post graduate scholarship for overseas studies is available to all qualified students from the Niger Delta,” he said.
On improvement on security in the region, he said the NDDC is planning to engage the services of retired military generals from the region, to benefit from the knowhow.
He also announced that the Ogbia-Nembe road, collaboration between NDDC and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) will soon be completed, promising that the road would be commissioned before he leaves office.
The NDDC boss used the occasion to call on the people to invest in agriculture, rather than depending on oil, saying that “oil will not last forever.”
Notable statesmen and women present at the meeting include the Secretary of the Council, Lady (Mrs.) Anne Spiff, former military administrator of old Bendel State, Colonel (Rtd.) John Yeri, former military administrator of Delta State, Navy Capt.(Red.) Walter Feghabor, former President of Ijaw National Congress(INC), Chief Joshua Fumudoh, and Senators Rufus Spiff, Emmanuel Diffa and Barigha Amange.