…Urges FG to quickly inaugurate substantive board
By Emma Amaize & Festus Ahon
GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has complained that Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, was operating against the law establishing it to the displeasure and detriment of member states for two years running.
The governor frowned at the unacceptable situation and urged the Federal Government to constitute a substantive board for the commission without further delay .
Okowa at a media interaction in Asaba, said the slow pace of the Presidency to constitute the NDDC board was detrimental to the development of the South-South region.
Recalling that the governors of the NDDC states had made their position during the intervening period that the commission has been without a board, he said: “Whatever situation the NDDC is operating with now is unknown to the law of this country.
“We have made our position clear as South-South governors. We have spoken about how we feel and it is very unfortunate that where we are at the moment ought not to be so. We have not had a proper board for over two years now and that is not right.
“The more important thing is that states are now being deprived of opportunity of having their representatives on the board because behind the managing director and the executive, you have state representatives, who are able to understand that the budget of the NDDC is run in the way it ought to run, with what is dues to each state, getting to them.
“That has not been the situation for quite some time. That is why we have always complained. We were told by the Presidency that as soon as the forensic report was submitted, the board will be inaugurated.”
Okowa decried that the NDDC has been managed on irregularities, lamenting that states have been deprived of their statutory dues following the inability of the Presidency to constitute a board to run the affairs of the commission.
On Asaba Leisure Park and Film Village, he said the project would be ready for inauguration next February, adding that the delivery timeline for the project was shifted from December 2021 to February 2022 because of fluctuations in exchange rate.
He said many of the equipment required for the Leisure Park and Film Village were coming from overseas, as fluctuations in foreign exchange rate had obviously delayed the delivery of the job.
The governor expressed appreciation to the media for being good partners to his administration.