NDDC: FG to float specialised bank to improve funding, projects

The Federal Government is set to float the Niger Delta Development Bank (NDDB) to ease project funding in the oil rich region. The bank is expected to come on stream before the end of December 2018.

Chairman of NDDC, Victor Ndoma-Egba, disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, after leading the NDDC board to meet with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the weekend.

He stated that funding of NDDC projects had always been problematic due to shortfalls, especially from the Federal Government’s contribution, disclosing that the board was looking beyond such sources of funding to enhance infrastructure development in the region.

According to Ndoma-Egba, “for once, the Federal Government and NDDC are sitting together to reconcile what is due and what is outstanding.

“So, we believe that from the shortfalls, we would be better off funded. But we are also looking beyond the traditional methods of funding the Federal Government’s budget and NDDC budget.  As you know, we are already working with NDDB that will take over the issue of funding beyond the oil and beyond particular boards.”
Speaking on the bank’s take off, Ndoma-Egba said it will come on stream before the end of December 2018, adding, “we have timelines and we are strictly adhering to the timelines.  We believe that by the end of this year, we should take off the ground.”

Also speaking, Managing Director of NDDC, Nsima Ekere, said the board made a presentation of planned initiative to introduce digital learning in primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta at the meeting with the Vice President.
“We had interface with state governors because as you know, the schools belong to the state governors with the exception of the private schools.  So, they bought into the programme.

“Following the approval of the project, an implementation committee involving the nine states of the Niger Delta, the NDDC, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology, was set up.
“Basically, what we are doing is to try and digitalise learning.  All of the traditional textbooks used in primary and secondary schools will be put into digital formats, into tablets that will be distributed to pupils and students in the Niger Delta Region.

“We are determined to change the narrative. In NDDC today, contractors no longer abandon projects. Before now, a lot of contractors would receive mobilisation for projects. You would pay a contractor maybe 15 per cent or 20 per cent mobilisation, and he knows that if he executes it, he will  make the same amount as profit, some of them would rather take the money and walk away,” he said.

 

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Credit (The Sun)