Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio has said it is no longer business as usual in the way the development of the Niger Delta has been handled in the past years.
Akpabio who was addressing management team of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Wednesday said, the NDDC has not performed well in its activities in the region.
He said seeking the directors looking robust, he realised they have not failed their families but the region.
“I don’t know how far the people on the street are faring because there are lots of complaints,” he said.
“NDDC has not lived up to its responsibilities because the impact of NDDC in the entire Niger Delta region would have been more but for most of those challenges militating against its development, political influence and interferences here and there.”
He said among the challenges is that the real youths of Niger Delta who undertook the clearing of water hyacinth have not been paid, those that are paid are political youths.
“Those that are owned between N500,000 to N1 million are over 400 and they have indulged the NDDC and the money has not been given to them thereby piling up over N2 trillion debt as a result. The problem we are having is that you will not even know those that are real from those that are not.”
Addressing the directors, he said, “Since the day of OMPADEC, the headquarters building for the commission has remained uncompleted in the last 20 years after the construction started.
“You should have a kind of sobre reflection and think inward for not being able to complete the project for this long while chunking out between N200 to NN300 million to pay for rent of office facility on annual bases to the state government.”
“I speak as a Niger Deltan and as somebody who if saddle with responsibility I will perform. I speak as one who have track records that speak for itself. I don’t want a situation as when you look at me as a politician that speak from both sides of the mouth. You have before you a representative of President Muhammadu Buhari who is very poised in working with you to redirect the NDDC if you so desire.”
“We have to refocus the NDDC to ensure that its live to the yearning of the people. You should get worried that I am the one here, if you are not worry there is a problem. Those on forensic, analyses and audit should go back to year 2000 up till now to know what came in, what went and out and why we have not recorded much result on ground.”