Pius O. Ughakpoteni’s literary effort titled, “Making the Niger Delta Work’’ serves a unique purpose of deconstructing the hazy picture of the Niger Delta. The subject is almost an over flogged one in national discourse and every opinion maker seems to have a valid point.
However, deciding whether this author has a superior argument for solving the problem of development in the Niger Delta is reserved for every reader’s discretion. But there are some interesting thoughts on the book that every reader must note.
Published by LAMBERT Academic Publishing, the 60-page book offers an incisive take on the subject which is in consonance with Ughakpoteni’s background as a journalist with a knack for research. Criss-crossing the creeks and swamps, he combed the perimeters of the region as part of his quest for documenting his research interest in sustainability, leadership, innovation, change and strategy execution. His doctoral study involves working with C-suite leaders on corporate sustainability, performance and advancement.
Thus, it’s safe to say that the book is a product of facts and insights earned through the many field trips-enriched by studious intellectual engagements in management seminars, research activities and reviews. The writer’s vantage point in creating this book comes from his hands-on experience, which bred simple and workable ideas as well as useful principles that will be handy for diverse stakeholders in the Niger-Delta region.
While addressing the critical question of the speedy development of the Niger-Delta, the author draws upon the intellectual tethering experience during a residency programmein York especially with the contributions of the York St. John University, United Kingdom and Robert Kennedy College Faculty in 2012.
Having participated actively in some of the activities of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC)- the interventionist agency that is leading the charge in the implementation of the Niger Development Master Plan, the author’s dispassionate account was well-founded on that first-hand experience. This easy read is a window into the author’s full understanding of the monstrous task of developing the Niger-Delta.
Needless to say, his postulations and recommendations in this piece can serve as reference points in working out the best strategy for handling the Niger-Delta challenge.
Rendered in simple, accessible language, the content of the book is arranged in six chapters of flowing prose spiced with illustrative tables and charts. The opening chapters present the reader with the background to the research, leading to detailed, in-depth findings in the subsequent chapters.
According to the author, the study that informed the book “provides an empirical basis for a review of the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan and points the way to successful implementation of the other existing and future strategies for making the Niger Delta work.’’
This review was first published in THISDAY, September 21, 2018 (Panacea for Niger Delta | THISDAYLIVE)