Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has advised the new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to do things differently.
Such difference, governor Wike maintained, should be the adoption of a regional development approach that will strictly commit to the holistic development of Niger Delta States.
Governor Wike gave the charge when the new chairman of the NDDC board, Mrs Lauretta Ifeanyi Onochie, led other board members on a courtesy visit to him at Government House, Port Harcourt, on Friday.
The governor urged the Mrs Onochie-led board to embrace the conceptualisation and implementation of projects like constructing highways with bridges to link States.
He opined that such projects would serve as economic corridors to ease interstate movements and promote socioeconomic integration within the region.
“I read what you said that things will be done differently. I want to believe that you’re sincere. Sometimes, I feel ashamed of where I come from. We talk about underdevelopment, but look at the amount of money that has passed through NDDC, then look at the projects on ground.”
The Rivers State governor said when projects are awarded, they should not be given to portfolio or political contractors but to competent ones who will stick to delivering quality and enduring projects.
“There are what we call regional development projects that can link up two states; those are the kind of things NDDC should go for and give to competent contractors. Leave these political contractors. Leave all these portfolio contractors. Leave them alone. You have come to my state and seen what I have done.
“If I didn’t use Julius Berger and had used these political contractors, you wouldn’t have seen anything here. Of course, you know how expensive Julius Berger is. From 2019 till now, we have done 12 Flyovers by Julius Berger. You know how much we are talking about, and you can replicate that.