The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Osagie Okunbor, says his company will work with Niger Delta Development Commission to reconcile its statutory financial contributions to the commission.
This was contained in a statement issued by the NDDC Spokesman, Dr. Abosede Ibitoye, in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Ibitoye quoted Okunbor as stating this when he received a delegation of NDDC in his office.
Okunbor said that in spite of the funding challenges, the oil firm had tried to fulfill its financial contributions to NDDC as and when due.
He said: “NDDC is an important interventionist agency, and we look forward to providing all the support we can toward the execution of your (NDDC) mandate.
“It is in SPDC’s interest that NDDC succeeds.
“This is because it will make our work easier when NDDC succeeds in achieving its mandate.
“On the issue of statutory contributions to NDDC, we are willing to reconcile the figures.”
The SPDC Managing Director said that both organisations had enjoyed a long standing relationship through active collaboration running into several years.
Okunbor said: “So, we have partnered with NDDC several times in the past and we look forward to a mutually-beneficial relationship with the current NDDC board.
“The 29-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe road project is one of such partnerships that readily comes to mind.”
Earlier, the Managing Director of the NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, underlined the importance of SPDC reconciling its statutory contributions to the commission.
He said that upon his assumption of office recently, the NDDC board found out that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had been receiving SPDC’s contributions on behalf of the commission.
Ogbuku said: “Recently, EFCC wrote to us, stating details of how much they have received so far on our behalf.
“But we need to reconcile those collections because we don’t have records of the contributions.
“We are desirous of maintaining our cordial relationship with SPDC, and looking forward to more fruitful partnerships in future.”
Ogbuku said that there had been mistrust between NDDC and International Oil Companies over time, which gave the IOCs the impression that their contributions were not well utilised.
The NDDC boss assured of the commission readiness to work with stakeholders, including members of the Oil Producers Trade Section, in its budget processes.
According to him, the NDDC management is also focused on improving its public-private partnership with stakeholders to facilitate sustainable development in the Niger-Delta region.
He said: “We have come in with a new vigour, and we are thinking out of the box to change the narrative in the Niger-Delta region.
‘To this end, we have set up a PPP committee to help us source for other areas of funding for NDDC.
“Our intervention does not end with building roads and bridges but also, to empower young entrepreneurs, with focus on exposing them to the world.’