Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Banigo has said the political class has derailed the noble objectives for the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC
Banigo, while declaring open the Technical Session of the 4th National Council on Niger Delta in Port Harcourt, noted that NDDC would have performed better in the region if some self centered politicians were not playing politics with the commission.
She noted that one of the main reasons for the establishment of the NDDC was to build infrastructure and human capital development in the Niger Delta region, but regretted that the commission has been degraded to a mere ATM centre for political sponsorship and patronage of the ruling party.
The Deputy Governor said, “the increasing rate of abandoned projects by the NDDC, frequent changes in the leadership, massive corruption, and the lack of accountability is a deviation from the dreams of the founding fathers that fought for a prosperous future for the Niger Delta”.
The deputy Governor said the recent Appeal Court Judgement that makes it obligatory for NDDC to work in consonance with Governors in the Region, in the execution of developmental projects was timely, noting that Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has continued to demonstrate great passion in the strive for the rapid development and socio economic freedom of our Region.
“Governor Wike has remained vocal in the fight for the wellbeing of the Niger Delta. Indeed, he is the Golden Voice of the Niger Delta in view of his Political impact as a forthright and sagacious politician.
“our resolve today should be sincerely channelled towards providing a realistic road map that will trigger job opportunities, economic empowerment and check insecurity in our Region”, she added.
Banigo hanked the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs for Choosing Rivers State to host the 4th National Council on Niger Delta, urging participants to come up with a long term workable guideline with institutional and legislative frame work.
However, in his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo said in the Technical Sessions critical issues of gas flaring affecting the Region as well as the report of the 3rd National Council of the Ministry would be looked into.
Earlier the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Effiong Okon Akwa, had said Rivers State was fast becoming the model of development, which according to him has to do with structured planning.
Akwa said: “You can see planning at work; you can see commitment of the executive at work, that is why I am convinced that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs thought it wise to choose Rivers State as the best place for this gathering”.
Vanguard News Nigeria