–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) – Michael EKOKORUWE:
THE Federal Government of Nigeria has been urged to constitute the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board without further delay to fast track development and reduce hostilities caused by under development of the Niger Delta region.
High Chief Iduh Amadhe, Patron of Isoko Development Union, made the statement while speaking to news men at Oleh, Isoko South local government area of Delta State. Amadhe stated that the forensic audit is a ploy to deprive the Niger Delta region of development.
He decried the long period of eighteen months that the audit has taken, noting that the people of the region has been denied dividends of democracy and urged the federal government to complete the forensic audit within the next two weeks as most projects have been abandoned.
Amadhe further bemoaned insecurity and bad roads accross the states of the Niger Delta, emphasising that the present interim administrator system of government has delayed the resources accruable to the Niger Delta people. He urged the federal government to without delay inaugurate the new board of NDDC.
The former President General of Isoko Nation maintained that, for the past eitheen months, new projects have not been awarded and old project abandoned. He noted that the interim administrator has not done anything to improve the development of the region as only notable expenditures amounting to billions was on COVID-19 palliatives and payment of staff salaries.
He stated that such billions would have been used for priority projects in the region. Amadhe condemned the rate of kidnapping at the East-West road due to bad roads, stressing that if the new board is constituted, corruption will be reduced and projects meant for the development of the Niger Delta region enhanced.
According to Amadhe, some of the abandoned projects in Isoko and other ethnic nationalities are, Uzere – Patani road to Ijaw communities, Emevor – Orogun road to Urhobo communities, Ozoro township road and other priority projects. He urged the federal government to complete the projects without delay.
Amadhe noted that further delay in the Constitution of the NDDC board will impede the development of the region and give impression that the Minister of Niger Delta, Hon. Godswill Akpabio brought the sole administrator to manage the commission and frustrate the people of the region.
The Isoko Nation leader urged the South South governors to convey the message to the President, Mohammadu Buhari, and ensure that effective monitoring of Niger Delta projects are allotted to governors of the region, just as he decried that fund’s meant for the development of the region have become proceeds of corruption.
He noted that the idea of keeping the commission’s money in a single account is not enough, adding that further delay in the constitution of the new board may curse tension and frustration which according him can lead to militancy in the region.
Amadhe further stated that the issues surrounding the passage of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) for the past six years should be resolved, just as he appealed to the federal government and the legislature to consider the pains and suffering of the Niger Delta people and pass the PIB bill without further Delay.