The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswll Akpabio on Friday, directed the Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete on-going projects including the headquarters building project before awarding contracts for new ones.
Akpabio gave the charge when, in the company with the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Festus Keyamo SAN, paid a working visit to the headquarters of the Commission in Port Harcourt , the Rivers State capital.
During a meeting with the management and staff of the Commission, Akpabio disclosed that the NDDC had more than 12,000 on-going projects spread across the nine states of the Niger Delta region which experienced funding challenges.
The Minister said it was not a coincidence that two Niger Delta sons were selected by President Muhammadu Buhari, to superintend over the affairs of the Niger Delta but a conscious effort at ensuring effective development of the region especially in the areas of infrastructural and human capital development.
According to the former Senate Minority Leader, “the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was a direct response to the series of agitations by people of the region flowing from the deep sense of exclusion, environmental degradation, lack of development, poverty and unemployment facing the region,” he said.
He said the NDDC was a child of necessity which was established “with a mission of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful” and that the Commission has to adopt a new template to achieve this mission.
According to the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, “the NDDC must adopt a well structured funds development regime, whereby all funds that accrue to the it must be properly utilized in this new era of probity which President Muhammadu Buhari demands”.
In her welcome address, the Acting Managing Director, Dr Akwagaga Enyia, said the Commission under her watch had embarked upon fiscal responsibility as required by the anti-corruption drive of the Buhari administration. She promised to expeditiously complete the on-going headquarters building project.
Senator Akpabio and Mr Keyamo, who later inspected the on-going construction of the headquarters building of the Commission, charged the management to channel more funds into completing the building.
They also visited a failed portion of the East-West road and promised an intervention to alleviate the suffering of commuters.