As part of its ongoing objective to transition away from an oil-dependent region into a more diversified economy, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) aims to establish at least one industrial park each in its nine states.
The Commission’s strategy involves teaming up with other relevant agencies to create industrial parks in all nine Niger Delta states, with the goal of reducing production cost.
In Nigeria, the Niger Delta is known for its high production costs, which, unfortunately, deter productivity and promote a culture of consumption in the region.
The NDDC aims to reverse the situation and reduce costs by establishing industrial parks in each state within its catchment areas.
This endeavor will be accomplished through collaboration with the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFTZA).
Samuel Ogbuku, the Managing Director of NDDC, expressed this commitment during a courtesy visit by a delegation from OGFTZA, headed by Managing Director Tijani Kaura, at the Commission’s Port Harcourt headquarters.
Ogbuku pointed out that industrial parks, given their multiplier effects, occupy a pivotal position within the value chain of sustainable development.
- “Partnering to have an oil and gas free trade zone park would achieve a lot. It will reduce the cost of production in the industries and enterprises that we intend to attract to the Niger Delta region. It will also promote entrepreneurship.
- “Having industries in one park comes with a lot of advantages for both the companies and the people of the region. We need industrialisation in the region in order to create job opportunities for our youths and women.”
Speaking further, he observed that working with different organisations for development purposes had been very successful, noting:
- “It only proves that our quest for partnership, which has been our core policy focus, is working. On assumption of office, we realized that due to the dwindling funds, it would be very difficult for us to actualise the desired development of the Niger Delta region on our own.”
According to him,
- “The Niger Delta is in dire need of development. NDDC, being the vehicle that drives development in the region, must not depend on only one source for funds.
- Over the years, we have depended on contributions from the Federal Government and International Oil Companies (IOCs) as our only means for driving development.
- Right now, we believe partnering with corporate bodies and government agencies will fast-track and accelerate development in the Niger Delta region.”
Continuing, Ogboku made a noteworthy statement, emphasizing that the Commission has set its sights on a future that extends far beyond the traditional reliance on oil and gas resources.
This declaration signalled a pivotal shift in the Commission’s strategic outlook, highlighting a clear intention to diversify the region’s economy and explore alternative avenues for sustainable development.
- “We are tilting towards agriculture and information technology. So, we need to provide the necessary facilities and incorporate a technology hub in the industrial park for IT experts in the region.
- This will encourage various technology-based organisations to set up in the Niger Delta. We are looking at a future Silicone Valley in the Niger Delta region.”
On their part, Kaura, the Managing Director of OGFTZA, emphasized the strategic roles of both NDDC and OGFTZA in promoting sustainable development in the Niger Delta region, underscoring the importance of their collaboration.
He specifically highlighted the need for joint efforts in establishing industrial parks.
He remarked that industrial parks would accelerate development in the Niger Delta region.
- “Whatever we are all doing will be promoting commerce and industry as well as entrepreneurship in the Niger Delta region.”