Chief Samuel Ogbuku, Ph.D: A Visionary Leader and An Icon of the Niger Delta Region
Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is a visionary leader, dedicated and committed to transforming the Niger Delta region.
He has proven to be a steady hand behind the wheels of the Commission that has assumed its rightful place as a vehicle to drive the socio-economic development of Nigeria’s oil-rich region. The man, described as a capable leader and navigator, was born on August 19, 1975, to parents from Ayakoro in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Ogbuku boasts an impressive profile spanning over twenty years of experience and expertise in crisis management and capacity building, spread across diverse fields of excellent human endeavour. His outstanding qualities shone so brightly that even when the NDDC Board was inaugurated on January 4, 2023, and was dissolved on June 19, 2023, he still bounced back as a recurring decimal when a new Board was named on August 29, 2023.
Ogbuku, who returned to a loving embrace, charged the NDDC staff to gird their loins to make a difference in the Niger Delta. He said: “I want to be a servant leader, and I need the feathers of NDDC staff to fly to greater heights. I, therefore, urge the staff to support my vision for the Niger Delta region.”
He started his primary education at Christ the King School, Oromineke, D/Line in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1987. He proceeded to Government Secondary School, Borokiri, Port Harcourt, obtaining the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1993. As a student of the famous Government Secondary School, his earliest passion for how to help transform his beloved Niger Delta had begun to form.
Little wonder, therefore, that the young Samuel Ogbuku proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt to study Political and Administrative Studies, graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.). He also obtained a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Sociology, Industrial Relations, and Personnel Management in 2002; a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Political and Administrative Studies in 2013, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political and Administrative Studies in 2021.
Dr. Ogbuku has occupied several important leadership/development and management positions in a storied career with many remarkable accomplishments. These include serving as Personal Assistant to the Special Assistant to the Minister of State, Petroleum from 2005 to 2007, Chief of Staff, Government House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, from May 2007 to January 2012, as well as the Managing Director/CEO of Fulfilled Farms Nigeria Limited, from February 2012 – 2019.
A product of the Niger Delta struggle, a student union activist and one-time Public Relations Officer of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Central Zone, Dr. Ogbuku, has always shown deep concern about the plight of the Niger Delta region. Hence, the Ogbia-born strategist and administrator has deep knowledge and insight in conflict resolution, youth leadership development, and personnel management in the Nigerian economy’s private and public sectors.
As a humanist, he has continually demonstrated the zeal to positively affect the lives of his people, evidenced when he served as Chief of Staff under the Chief Timipre Sylva administration in Bayelsa State between 2007 and 2012. A passionately focused and self-motivated entrepreneur, he takes investment in agriculture very seriously. There is growing hope that his tenure will bring necessary changes towards improving agriculture and aquaculture in the region in ways that will positively impact the people’s traditional livelihoods.
Dr. Ogbuku often says that his long years of service and tutelage have broadened the sphere of his experience and deepened his understanding of what it takes to improve the living conditions of the people of the Niger Delta. Based on his excellent and practical knowledge of the region, he believes that engaging youths in dialogue and making them participate in valuable activities and education will go a long way in addressing the challenge of youth restiveness.
Until he was appointed Managing Director/CEO of the NDDC, he served as Senior Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs to the then Deputy President of the Senate, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege. He is also a Traditional Ruler (Deputy Paramount Ruler) of Ayakoro Town, Ogbia LGA, Bayelsa State. He continues to be a bridge-builder across communities in the state and the region.
Undoubtedly, Ogbuku is well equipped with vast intellectual resources and practical experience to strengthen the NDDC and execute its mandate in ways that will remarkably and fundamentally make a difference in the Niger Delta region.