BY: Chioma Onuegbu
EKET—THE Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere has assured of vigorously pursuing the recovery of the shortfall of N1.6 trillion due the commission to enable it complete on-going projects.
Ekere said the fund when recovered will enable the commission complete ongoing projects across the Niger Delta region, adding that they are committing 70 percent of funds accruing to the commission to ensuring the completion of on-going and abandoned projects.
Ekere who spoke in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, noted that his administration would ensure that projects started by the commission were completed as funds come in, adding that one of the major problems of NDDC is that it does not have enough resources to meet some of its obligations.
He said, “As at today, we have a shortfall of about N1.6 trillion due NDDC from the Federal Government. The president has approved and we are working with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Budget and Planning to get this money.
“As the funds come in, most of the on-going projects in various parts of the region that are abandoned will recommence. It does not please me and I am sure it does not please anybody in the NDDC to see abandoned projects. I hate to see abandoned projects.
“And that is why when we came in I ensured that even in our budgeting process, 70 percent of all our funds is dedicated to on-gong projects. It is only with 30 percent that we are commencing new projects. We will not change from that focus.
“We will continue to pursue vigorously the recovery of all funds due to NDDC, so we can apply these funds to the completion of on-going NDDC projects across the region. I want to assure Akwa Ibom people that as the funds come in, Akwa Ibom State projects will also benefit from them”.
“We recognise the fact that Akwa Ibom State is the number one oil producing state in this country, and has also contributed enormous resources to the NDDC fund. So we shall ensure that the due number of projects for Akwa Ibom will get to this state.”
The NDDC boss added that the commission may still consider any critical projects that needs intervention, based on availability of funds.