The Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, MNDA, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has disclosed that, if only thirty percent 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 ground to alleviate the suffering of Niger Deltans”.
This was contained in statement made available to journalists in Abuja. Akpabio was speaking when he played host to a high-powered delegation of members of Petrol Station Owners Association (PESOA), Rivers State chapter, recently in his office.
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 added 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 Parliament 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 Hon. 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, Sen. Akpabio said he would soon visit the site to have firsthand information of what was required.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Adesola Olusade noted that there was a strong reason for them to embark on this courtesy call, adding that 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 their profound gratitude 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 contributes to the economic sustenance of the South- South region in particular and the country at large.
Obele noted that the Niger Delta region was full of excitement when the Minister was appointed to head the MNDA by the President.
He said that the appointment was based on Sen. Akpabio’s record of accomplishment as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, adding that the Minister has left a legacy that will be remembered by generations unborn in his State as he turned the fortunes of his people around.
Speaking further, Dr. Obele requested that the Minister should use his good 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.