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Niger Delta the Most Affected By Issues Of Climate Change, Says NDDC MD Ogbuku

“We went there (Dubai) to show our stance of accepting investments in renewable energy… lto let the world know the impact of crude oil exploration and gas flaring on our environment.”

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, has shed light on the agency’s commitment to embracing clean energy during his presentation at COP28 in Dubai. Dr. Ogbuku emphasised the need for permanent solutions to the environmental challenges faced by the Niger Delta due to crude oil exploration and gas flaring.

In an interview with ARISE News on Friday, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, provided insights into the commission’s commitment to embracing clean energy, their participation at COP28, and ambitious plans for the region’s future.

Dr. Ogbuku expanded on the NDDC’s presentation at COP28 in Dubai, emphasising the gravity of environmental challenges faced by the Niger Delta due to crude oil exploration and gas flaring. He stated, “For the conference in Dubai, we went there to show our stance of accepting investments in renewable energy. We went there to tell our story as the people of the Niger Delta, to let the world know the impact of crude oil exploration and gas flaring on our environment.”

Dr. Ogbuku highlighted the severe consequences, including the desertion of many communities due to environmental degradation and the resulting urban migration.

He further emphasised the importance of seeking permanent solutions, stating, “We believe that we are the most affected in Nigeria by issues of climate change. The impact of crude oil and gas exploration has eroded our environment; most of our communities have been deserted due to urban migration.”

Reflecting on the achievements at COP28, Dr. Ogbuku noted, “I think we achieved a lot of success. We tried to go into partnership with the National Council of Climate Change to tackle the issue of gas flaring.” He stressed the need for actionable measures and highlighted partnership agreements with companies working towards obtaining carbon credits for NDDC’s investments, calling it a “huge achievement.”

Dr. Ogbuku discussed the commission’s future plans, stating, “We are preparing our 2024 budget, so we will capture all these investments.” He outlined local initiatives, including a massive tree-planting campaign and the training of youths in renewable energy to prepare them for the future.

Regarding salvaging the NDDC’s image, he acknowledged past challenges, saying, “We are working towards salvaging the perceived image of NDDC because I can tell you that NDDC has done a lot in the past, though we have not been able to tell our story.” He highlighted the focus on instituting proper corporate governance structures to build a strong foundation for the commission.

Dr. Ogbuku outlined budget priorities, stating, “Our budget priority will be based on infrastructural development because that’s what we need.” He clarified that NDDC is self-funded, receiving monthly allocations from the federal government, contributions, and ecological funds as funding sources.

In summary, the NDDC, under Dr. Samuel Ogbuku’s leadership, is making significant strides towards sustainable development in the Niger Delta, combining international partnerships, renewable energy investments, and strategic local initiatives to address pressing environmental challenges.

Kiki Garba

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