By Chris Ochayi, ABUJA
Stakeholders agitating for the constitution of the Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, should bury their thought as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has insisted that the formation of a board for the Commission was not an issue for now.
Senator Akpabio, whose ministry is overseeing the Commission spoke recently on the contentious issue in Abuja, where he mocked the agitators to showcase the achievements of the commission in those years passed that it had Boarded.
Akpabio noted that with the fear of the forensic audit over 75 road projects have been completed under his watch and are now ready for commissioning.
He said, ”For the parastatal in the ministry the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, we are currently doing the forensic audit of the Commission.
”There was a need for that because even the staff who had worked there and retired are very excited that for the first time their pensions are going to be guaranteed. The way thing was going, there were not sure they were going to get their pension.
”We have submitted two interim reports so far through the Chief of Staff to the Mr President for evaluation and we are hoping that in the next three months maximum we should be out of the forensic audit.
”And as to the issue of formation of the board for the NDDC of which some people have sponsored a lot of write-ups, it is not an issue. We have had aboard for 19 years they didn’t see much on the ground.
”The good example is the 26 years old structure which is the headquarter building which was not completed by any board and which no board even visited since 1996 after OMPADEC started the structure.
”But in 2016 this administration was determined to bring it to an end by awarding the contract and again it was abandoned in 2017 but when we came on board in August 2019 we took up the project and to the glory of God today that project is completed.
”And I must also say that even with the fear of the forensic audit we have completed over 75 roads that are now ready for commissioning and many other projects that are useful to the people.
”And we have directed that they should publish these projects as an advertorial in newspapers so that we can begin to commission them for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta.
”And I believe that by the time we are through and a new organogram comes on board, we shall have a new NDDC, we are not going to be in power forever, but 2023 I believe we will get out of this place but we would have positioned the NDDC to become more productive than what it has been in the last 19 years.
”And we would have reduced the loopholes of leakages in the system that led to more money entering the pockets of people without much being seen on the ground.
”So we are determined to transform and that is why the director of the press calls me the uncommon transformer, so we believe that we will transform the region uncommonly and we need your assistance.
”We also found that in the ministry here, we are grappling with two sets of master plans; the first is the regional master plan that was done by the Ministry of Niger Delta and the second is the NDDC action plan for the development of the Niger Delta region.
”We will like to see a harmonized Niger Delta plan so that every person can key in.”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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