By Victoria Ojeme
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio has said that the region must witness uncommon development.
Senator Akpabio who spoke through his Special Assistant Project Monitoring and Special Duties, Anthony Ekene Onwuka, said ‘NDDC must succeed and Niger Delta must register uncommon development. What will I tell my children tomorrow? I must stamp my trademark- uncommon transformation.”
Onwuka appeal to all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to support Senator Akpabio in his efforts to make NDDC work, develop and sustain a new Niger Delta region.
According to the special assistant, “the NDDC is an interventionist agency that has been marred by poor leadership and corruption until the appointment of Senator Akpabio as the Minister of the Niger Delta. In his uncommon disposition, Senator Akpabio advised President Muhammadu Buhari to engage the services of forensic auditors to ensure probity and accountability in the commission.”
He said that all the fighting and resistance from some quarters to the NDDC project is because Akpabio wants to change the narrative in the Niger Delta region and ensure lasting development.
“The Minister has completed the NDDC’s headquarters after 26 years in the works, a project that defied seven consecutive boards and many CEOs. When the Interim Management Committee (lMC) was accused of corruption and ineptitude, Senator Akpabio, the uncommon transformer in his struggle to succeed as a supervising minister of the agency, accepted the introduction of the appointment of an Interim Administrator by Mr President to ensure a smooth-running system pending the completion of the forensic audit report, before the constitution of a substantive board according to relevant sections of our constitution.
“Within this period of the Interim Administrator the NDDC permanent site was completed and commissioned by President Buhari, saving NDDC a whopping 300 million Naira paid as yearly rent by the commission.
“Also, 64 block of flats project was completed, commissioned and handed over to para-military personnel in the Niger Delta region; over 2000 youth projects were initiated by the agency in collaboration with Innoson Motors, LNG, oil and gas companies, to engage the restive youths in the region. What about the East -west road where a massive work is ongoing? The road was not motorable until Senator Akpabio came and prioritized the project.
“Most importantly, there was a policy change as regards foreign scholarship. The agency now decided to send some students to our local universities like, Nsukka, Benin, Ibadan, Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Calabar and many others. The policy is aimed at promoting our local universities and allowing them to train youths from the Niger Delta region with same budget rather than sending them abroad during this coronavirus pandemic where most schools are ran online. Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio is the leader of all leaders in the region and his watch word is “Niger Delta must receive uncommon transformation and Nigeria must be better”” Onwuka said.