The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says that infrastructure, law and order are vital in achieving lasting development in the region.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Nsima Ekere stated this Monday when he spoke at Rivers State University (RSU) during the opening of the second edition of the Annual Inter-University Moot Court and Mock Trial Competition for law students in the region.
The Commission organised the competition in conjunction with Velma Foundation, Peace and Development Projects, and others.
Ekere, who was represented by Dr Princewill Ekanin, the Director, Special Projects, office of the MD, NDDC, said the competition presented an opportunity to shape and influence the future of legal practice in the Niger Delta.
“Critical to the development of Niger Delta is the strengthening of law and order infrastructure, to ensure that all stakeholders contributing to regional development operate within the limits and expectations of law,” Ekanin stated.
“Legal education and the legal profession, therefore, continue to contribute to our development strategies, while becoming, over the years, a bulwark of our democratic ethos.”
He added that “the Niger Delta Development Commission will continue to play its strategic statutory role in developing and supporting other efforts to develop education.
“We can only truly facilitate sustainable development if we build human capacity, strengthen livelihoods, reduce poverty, as well as contain violence and crime in our region.”
The NDDC, it was assured, would continue to support the development of education and legal studies, and to create and improve capacity.
Meanwhile, the representative of Velma Foundation, an organising partner for the competition, David Ashaolu, said the essence of the project was to strike a balance between education, play, learning and leisure.
Ashaolu said moot and mock trials among law students have become more important because of thee wide range of changes in the administration of criminal justice system in Nigeria.
Among the tertiary institutions participating in the competition were the University of Benin, Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, University of Uyo, Benson Idahosa University, University of Calabar, Abia State University, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akure, Imo State University, Niger Delta University, Delta State University and Rivers State University.