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Buhari Directs Contractors To Remit All Outstanding Funds Owed NDDC

…..Commission Ultra Modern 1050-Bed Space Hostel Built By NDDC At University Of Uyo

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all the contractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to remit all outstanding funds owed the Commission to enable it pursue its mandate of developing the Niger Delta region. 

As the President admonished all of them to ensure that the remittance and payment is done transparently according to laid down procedure and process. 

President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio gave the order in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while commissioning the ultra modern 1050-bed space hostel built by NDDC and donated to University of Uyo. 

According to figures released by NDDC, the Federal Government and the oil companies owe the Commission N1.9 trillion and $4billion (about N2.2 trillion), respectively, according to the NDDC Establishment Act 2000. 

The President alluded that in addition to IOC’s outstanding payments to NDDC, the Commission had in the past been buffeted by corruption, poor governance and waste of resources. 

Noting that it was regrettable that the special development fund of the entire region was squandered by a few for more than 20 years, leaving many in penury. 

According to the President, “I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, because the management has shown that it can manage its affairs with prudence, transparency and accountability. 

“The NDDC needs to demonstrate that it can achieve the objectives it was conceived for and make its impact felt all over the Niger Delta Region. The lives of the people of the Niger Delta could be so much better, if the funding received by this commission since its inception, in billions of naira over the last 20 years, have been judiciously deployed in service of the people.

“The forensic audit, which was completed a few months ago, is achieving one of its core objectives, the objective is to rebuild NDDC into an agency that is well equipped and better placed to facilitate sustainable regional development.

“NDDC should be given all necessary support it deserves from stakeholders and commended the Commission’s management, led by its interim administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa, for a job well done. 

Senator Akpabio described the hostel as ‘’a beauty to behold’’, and pledged to work with the Commission to complete other projects as a legacy of the President. 

It could recalled that recently, Akpabio, whose ministry supervises the interventionist agency disclosed that the oil companies have not met their statutory obligations to the Commission in many years.

He maintained that such a huge debt profile has certainly hampered the performance of the Commission, which explains why the President is issuing the pay-up order. 

In his welcome address, Dr. Efiong Akwa assured that there is a new spirit in the NDDC “permeating the Commission’s affairs and how it approaches its mandate of sustainable regional development.

“It is a spirit, the new NDDC spirit, inspired by President Muhammadu Buhari and fuelled by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, which compels greater enthusiasm that we can deliver on our collective promise to the Niger Delta region and our people”.

The hostel complex is a big, modern and well-appointed facility. The contract was first awarded in 2004, but was abandoned due to many issues. The completion and inauguration of the hostel project are due to the earlier directives from the President for the Commission to focus on important projects. 

This is the third of such high-impact projects built by the NDDC that the President has inaugurated in 2021.  It’s an unprecedented achievement in the 22-year history of the agency. 

The inauguration event was a big celebration for the university community. Both the Student Union President, speaking on behalf of the over 40,000 students of the 38-year-old institution and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Nyaudoh Ndaeyo were effusive in their praises for the Commission and the President. 

They both presented plaques to the President to symbolize their appreciation of the new hostel block. 

Many other dignitaries who present  at the event include Senator Peter Nwaobishi (Chairman Senate Committee on NDDC) and Rt. Hon Olubunmi Tuni-Ojo. They all commended the NDDC for delivering high-impact projects in the last one year.

Raji Adebayo, Ibadan

Editor, South-West, Lagos Post Online Email: raji_adebayong@yahoo.com M: 08034094059

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