You’ve failed the Niger Delta, Keyamo lambasts NDDC
…Says NDDC owe N2 trillion
By Princess Owoh
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, yesterday, disclosed that henceforth, the Federal Government would discourage politically-motivated projects in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Speaking in Abuja during a meeting with the management team of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Akpabio, also lambasted the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC and accused the agency of N2 trillion indebtedness.
At the same meeting, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Barrister Festus Keyamo, also accused the NDDC of failing the Niger Delta region, stating that commission had transformed into a conduit to corruptly enrich politicians.
Akpabio expressed the need to redefine and refocus the activities of the NDDC, ensuring it achieves the yearnings of the people; fast track development and help move the Niger Delta region to the next level.
He further promised to carry out a probe of the NDDC to have a better understanding of its operations over the years, while he berated the management of the commission for failing to complete the headquarter building project, after its commencement.
Akpabio told the NDDC’s top management team to hide their faces in shame, threatened to carry out a forensic audit on their income and expenditure from 2000 to date, involving the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, and others agencies.
He said, “We will do forensic analysis and audit; we will try to go back to our work even from the year 2000, to know what came in, what went out and why we have not seen much on grounds.
“We will stop you from doing politically-motivated roads. We will try to stop you from keeping your headquarter for 20 years without commissioning it, yet the money that goes in and goes out even on mere water hyacinth would have finished that building a long time ago.
“We will stop you from paying N200 to N300 million rent yearly on the headquarters you are staying to the State Government. We will also realign your program. We are working on the 2020 budget, we want to change the module.”
He added that “It is important to inform you that before coming to you we met with your financial agencies and have instructed them to stop all payment you have made.
“As I speak to you, banks have been asked to refund all payments you have made in the last one month to ascertain if there was access stripping as a result of lack of leadership pending the upcoming board. When this is done, we will realign your program and change your modus operandi.”
Also speaking, Minister of States for Niger Delta Affairs, Festus Keyamo, opined that although the commission has failed, there is need to redefine, refocus the vision of the commission that has been lost over time.
He said, “The vision of the commission has since been lost, over time the vice president of this country had said publicly that this commission has failed and that is the truth. In terms of commensurability, projects, these are the income that is accruable to the commission, we have failed.
“Let us be clear from the beginning that it will not be business as usual. It will be business unusual from now on. I think it is no coincidence that the president decided that the two of us should be here to oversee what is going on in this commission.
“The original concept of the commission is to develop the region but the concept has been changed to a conduit of empowering the pockets of politicians.”
In her response, Director, supervising the NDDC, Mrs. Akwaggaga Enyia pledged that there would be turn around in the affairs of the commission, while she promised adequate supervision of staff and project.