At the protest march, President of the Association, Comrade Sylvester Tonye Iyade, also appealed to the federal government to pay outstanding debts it owes NDDC contractors.
According to Tonye Iyade “we are not interested in the politics they play, all we want is that they bring a board. You have an Interim Administrator who does not even come to the office in Port Harcourt. For over two months you will never see him. He is always in Abuja. We want a board that will sit and be responsible to the people, not a Sole Administrator.”
The President of ACNDDC also stated that “the Senate has screened the Board already, let them bring them on.”
On the forensic audit of the Commission which report was presented to President Buhari on September 2, 2021 by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Tonye Iyade said “The forensic audit was a scam. You can’t be on my site and I’m not there and you say you are doing forensic audit. Who does that?”
Also speaking at the protest march, Chairman of the Contractors, Joe Adia, said “there is no way you will give a project to a man, he will go to source for funds on his own, then when he gets to a mile stone, you refuse to pay him for about five years, how does he go back to that project? Automatically the project is abandoned because you refused to play your part as the Commission. The Federal Government does not give enough money to the Commission, but the little that comes in is embezzled.”
While urging the government to come to their aid urgently, the Chairman recalled that during the probe of the NDDC in the National Assembly last year, the evidences they presented were swept under the carpet.
Joe Adia further lamented that the Interim Management that exists in the NDDC is not adding value to the Commission, “rather it is returning NDDC far beyond where we are coming from. It is killing NDDC. We are saying bring the board so that there will be equity and even distribution of representation in the region.”
On the plight of the members of ACNDDC, he lamented that “We are the victims. We are the ones that have been owed for over 10 years.”
The ACNDDC Chairman therefore urged the Federal Government to abide by the NDDC Act because according to him “We have nine states in the NDDC, but one man is heading NDDC. It’s an abnormal activity. We have given them enough time to bring the board, but since they have refused, we have come out to say they must bring the board. It’s not a matter of negotiation, they must bring the board as early as yesterday.”