Akpabio Determined to Make NDDC Work for the People

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, said corruption and political interference have disrupted the original purpose of setting up the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Mr Akpabio, who spoke on Saturday in an interview programme with the NTA, said he was sure that those who founded the NDDC would be disappointed with what has become of the commission.

Mr Akpabio said he was not proud, personally, of the commission’s scorecard, and that as a supervising minister he was determined to get the place to work for the good of the people.

He explained the steps he would take to reposition the NDDC.

“We will start with budgeting. The budgeting process in NDDC has been warped. When you have a project that should take N30 billion in a year and you go and put N5 billion (in the budget), it means you intend to complete that project in maybe six or seven years, and there is no regime that would have that kind of tenure.

“So we will start from budgeting, we will put money where we actually want to complete projects. We will not spread thin where we want to make sure every village has something and at the end of the year, they have nothing.

“We will look at the low-hanging fruits, what are the projects that are at different stages we could just get into and then commission for the benefit of the people?

“Almost 23 years after the started the headquarters of the NDDC by OMPADEC in 1996, NDDC is still paying rent. As at the last count, they are paying N300 million a year for the headquarters building in Port Harcourt and the rent may likely increase.

“I have given my words to Mr President that within the next six to eight months he will commission the 13-storey headquarters of the NDDC,” Mr Akpabio said.

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