Akpabio Scores NDDC Low On Core Mandate Performance

Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, was established in 2000 with the mission of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful.

Tackling ecological and environmental problems that arise from the exploration of oil mineral in the Niger Delta region and advising the Federal Government and the member states on the prevention and control of oil spillages, gas flaring and environmental pollution, liaising with the various oil mineral and gas prospecting and producing companies on all matters of pollution, prevention and control as well as executing such other works and other functions required for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region and its people were some of the core mandates of the commission.

Over the years, the commission has sharply faltered on these core mandates forcing some Niger Deltans to develop apathy on the commission, and making them to see the Federal and some state governments as the architects of their misfortune.

However, Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has confirmed the fear and apathy of fellow Niger Deltans by rating the commission low for not performing well in its main responsibility, which was the development of the Niger Delta region.

Akpabio stressed the need for redirecting the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission, saying it has to settle more than N2 trillion debt.

Stating this at a meeting with the management of NDDC on Wednesday in Abuja, the minister said that the impact of the commission on the entire region would have been more, but for some factors such as personal interest and undue interference, among others.

He stressed the need for collaboration between the ministry and the commission to move the region to a higher level.

“We will look into the budgetary allocation and see how it can be improved upon, because the success of any organisation starts from budgeting.

“We want to redirect the budgeting procedure of the commission so that we can aim at the ongoing projects, that is, those that are nearing completion but which have not been completed due to lack of human will,” he said.

According to him, there are too many uncompleted projects across the Niger Delta region due to lack of proper coordination, adding “we will not allow that any longer.”

“We are going to focus on the key ones that are on ground for us to complete between now and next year and also start some things that can create employment opportunities,” he added.

Akpabio also said that the East West Road was one of the major priorities of his administration, pledging to work very hard to ensure the development of the region.

The Director overseeing the NDDC, Dr. Akwagaga Enyia, expressed the commission’s readiness to cooperate with the ministers to ensure development of the region, while appreciating them for such a meeting.

Earlier, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, had pledged the commitment members of staff to the actualisation of the vision and mandate of the ministers.

“We will be an effective and efficient workforce, working with you to formulate and execute best policies, programmes and projects that will address the challenges in the Niger Delta region.

“These include, but not limited to, infrastructural development, environmental degradation, poverty alleviation, entrepreneurship, job creation, unemployment and security, among others,” Walson-Jack said.