The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) Senator Godswill Akpabio, has disclosed that, if only thirty per cent of funds allocated to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over the years were judiciously utilized by former NDDC administrations, “We would have seen something on the ground to alleviate the suffering of Niger Deltans”.
Senator Akpabio made this statement when a high-powered delegation of members of Petrol Station Owners Association (PESOA) Rivers State chapter paid him a courtesy call recently in his office in Abuja.
The Minister, who expressed gratitude to members of the Association, said the visit was an indication that the Ministry was not alone in the quest to reposition the NDDC and MNDA in bringing development and succour to the people.
He noted that he could not comprehend why Nigerians have suddenly lost their voices and have refused to ask questions concerning the activities of NDDC since 2001 despite the orchestrated campaign of calumny against the Minister, the Ministry and Mr President.
According to Akpabio, “having a child with stunted growth definitely calls for worry at any time, hence the approval of forensic auditing by the President would not have been out of place.
“Why is it only now that the noise is loudest and the Parliaments find it comfortable to embark on selective probe focusing on the last five months instead of taking a holistic view of its twenty years of existence in which N5 trillion would have been expended in the region without any tangible thing to show”.
On the request presented by the Association while soliciting for the co-operation of the members, the Minister assured the Association that the government would do everything to ensure that the East-West road is completed and commissioned in December 2021.
On the variation and revaluation of compensation, Senator Akpabio said he would soon visit the site to have firsthand information of what was required.
In his welcome address the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Adesola Olusade said one of the achievements of the Ministry under Senator Akpabio is the accelerated completion of the NDDC Headquarters in Port-Harcourt, River State, from 45% to over 95% completion.
The Coordinator of the Association Dr Joseph Obele expressed happiness to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for releasing the funds needed for the construction of the East-West road, which is one of the roads that contribute to the economic sustenance of the South-South region in particular and the country at large.
Dr Obele requested that the Minister should use his office to approve the revaluation of the compensation plan made six years ago concerning the 41 Petrol/filling station belonging to their members within the Eleme junction to Onne Trailer Park axis of the East-West road. (Tribune)