Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, Ag. MD /CEO Formally Hands Over to NDDC Board
Being a speech delivered by Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, Ag. MD /CEO, Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, on the occasion of the Handover ceremony to NDDC Board on Monday, November 7, 2016 at the Commission's headquarters
It is with delight that I, on behalf of the management and staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission, welcome you on this most auspicious occasion.
The only constant thing in life is change and today marks another hand over of baton. The good thing about a relay race is that all those running are set to achieve one goal, brace the tape and grab the medal for their team.This is no different.
Let me pause at this point to very specially thank President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for giving me the privilege to serve my region and country and also for appointing this crack team of tried, tested and distinguished gentlemen to constitute the board and management of the Niger Delta Development Commission. Your antecedents speak for you and your pedigree is not in doubt. I trust that our beloved region will benefit immensely from your experience, commitment, and patriotic zeal.
The Niger Delta Development Commission set up 16 years ago was set up in furtherance of the demands of our people for improved and accelerated development. Its precursors also had been established for the same reason. A lot of work and effort went into the demand for improved development in the Niger Delta. Some persons even lost their lives. When, therefore, we are called into positions such as those we hold today, we must be conscious of these huge sacrifices and strive to add value to our people.
This is the passion that has driven me these past 10 months. As our slogan says, I was determined to make a difference. But by myself it would have been impossible. So urged on and supported by the management and staff of the commission we began our journey to higher standards, higher goals, and better service delivery. One small statistics will shock you.
When I assumed office, percentage of jobs completed in the commission as at December 2015 hovered at about 25 percent. As at September 9, that figure had gone up to 41 percent and as at today we are in the 50 percent range. That is a huge leap and one that I am delighted we were able to achieve. Working with our contractors we were able to gradually reduce our debts. Today, NDDC jobs are no longer a pariah as banks and other lenders are willing to fund our projects because we have been able to restore confidence. This is indeed gratifying. Details of our performance and achievements are duly contained in the handover notes.
However, as I pass the baton today, I am glad that it is in very safe and capable hands. I know that we will brace the tape. We will win and our team (the Niger Delta) will hurl in laurels. But for that to happen, all hands must be on deck.
Let me call on the management, staff, contractors and other stakeholders to give unalloyed support to the new team. No tree makes a forest and we are always greater together and stronger together. The Bible puts it succinctly - a house divided against itself cannot stand. Let us eschew bitterness, malice, gossip and rancour. Our region needs us and we cannot afford to fail. This is our finest hour!
As for me, my time here is done. This is where I get off. Let me reiterate my gratitude to Mr. President, the Vice President, members of the National Assembly, especially the Senate Committee on the Niger Delta and the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC.
Let me thank all governors of the 9 mandate states for the privilege to have worked.
Together we can make a difference. To my team, the management and staff of the commission, my gratitude always for agreeing to do things differently and trying new ideas. Some of it worked very well and others, well. We live to try again.
And finally to our contractors and other stakeholders, thank you very specially for being so patient with us. Change doesn’t come easy. It is a process thing. Our joy is that we have started and eventually we will meet our obligations to you.
Finally it is my pleasure and delight to formally present the hand-over notes to our Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nsima Ekere, FNIESV, KSJW.
You are very welcome sir.