The Niger Delta Development Commission will look into innovative solutions to combat the plague of water hyacinths in the region’s waterways.
This was said by Mrs. Lauretta Onichie, the chairman of the NDDC board, when she welcomed members of the Niger Delta Youth Assembly at the commission’s Port Harcourt headquarters.
This was said in a statement delivered to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday and signed by Dr. Ibitoye Abosede, director of corporate affairs for the NDDC.
Onochie said that finding fresh approaches to combat the problem of water hyacinths in the area’s waterways had become essential.
She said, “Water hyacinths are gathered and used to create lovely artworks that are sold for profit in South-East Asia.
“We may have to send some of our people abroad to learn how to turn the problem of water hyacinths in our waterways into a profitable venture instead of giving out contracts every time for the clearing of our waterways.”
She remarked that the interventionist agency was exploring ways to address the challenges facing waterways in the region in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Mrs Onochie added, “We are liaising with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to address the challenges facing our waterways.”
Earlier, the President of the Niger Delta Youth Assembly, George Godwin, commended the efforts of the NDDC in the Niger Delta region and stated that more still needed to be done.
Godwin called for more support for the NDDC and urged the commission to partner with the youth assembly to increase its impact in the Niger Delta region.
Also speaking, the representative of Rivers State on the Governing Board of the NDDC, Chukwudi Dimkpa, said the commission had been proactively tackling the challenges that come with flooding in the Niger Delta region.
He stated, “The Governing Board is tackling the flood issues proactively. We noticed that the rains have come early and we are making efforts to address the challenges so our people don’t suffer.”
In another courtesy visit by members of the Anioma Peoples Forum, the NDDC Chairman observed that the requests made by the various ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta region to the Commission were valid.
Onochie said that all ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region have the right to seek support from the NDDC as such requests were valid.
Onochie who thanked the Forum for the honour of visiting her stated that no request from any ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta region was less than others. She noted: “The requests we receive here are the same: requests for empowerment and support, so every request is important to us and we will look at them.”
The President of the Anioma Peoples Forum, Mr Victor Osemene congratulated Onochie on her appointment as Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, noting that it was a deserved appointment.
Osemene stated that the Anioma Peoples Forum was set up to unify the various subgroups under the Anioma ethnic nationality. He urged Onochie to use her position to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta region.
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