6 January 2007

Nigeria: Alaibe, New NDDC Boss, Sets Targets

Lagos — The acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe, has said that the Commission must gear up to be the best-run public service agency in Nigeria by ensuring best practices in the initiation and implementation of people-oriented and quality projects and programmes.

Speaking yesterday to a full house of management staff after the Christmas/New year holidays, Mr. Alaibe, who was appointed two weeks ago to take over from the former managing director, Mr. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, who resigned to contest the governorship elections, said NDDC must refocus immediately to improve service delivery and fulfill the mandate prescribed by President Obasanjo and the laws setting up the Commission.

"We are returning to work in full force. My mission is to turn NDDC into the best-run public service agency in Nigeria by ensuring best practices in service delivery to our people. I want 2007 to be the best year for NDDC and the Niger Delta region. We must be able to do by far much better this year than we did in the previous years Delay is dangerous", Mr. Alaibe said.

Now appointed the acting managing director for the third time, Mr. Alaibe said transactions in the Commission are not going to be business as usual. Apart from refocusing on the implementation of quick impact projects and programmes of the Regional Master Plan, he said the work culture of the interventionist agency would be quickly reviewed, overhauled and re-energized. " We must turn a new leaf. There must be discipline from top to bottom. We must be more businesslike, as our partners in the oil industry. There will be certainly no room to circumvent or compromise due processes. Our work processes must be standardized, transparent and predictable. We cannot run away from it. We will also have to put in place as quickly as possible, the process of peer review mechanism alongside with capacity building and reward structure for all levels of staff in order to cope with the challenges ahead", Alaibe said.

In response, all management staff led by the Executive Director Projects, Engr. Beniah Ojum, took turn to suggest the best way forward, noting Mr. Alaibe's dynamism and pledging the cooperation of staff to reinforce the performance of NDDC. At the end of a five-hour marathon management meeting that followed, a 10-man committee was set up to prioritize and set definite targets and deadlines for delivery of projects and programs.

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