Port Harcourt — The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has said that Niger Delta Governors should be held accountable for the 13 percent oil derivation meant to develop the oil producing communities.
The former Akwa Ibom State Governor advised that State governments in the region should ensure that the 13 percent allocation touches the lives of the people.
Speaking at the fourth meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta in Port Harcourt, Akpabio observed that the Niger Delta region had suffered so much deprivation and thus needed a new deal.
Akpabio agreed that the funds coming to the Niger Delta region were not commensurate with the level of projects on the ground, but stated that governments in the region should be held accountable for the 13 per cent oil-derivation meant to develop the oil-producing communities.
He advised those blaming the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC for all the woes of the region to look inwards and tell themselves the truth.
“When stakeholders reach out to the NDDC for intervention projects and the Commission intervenes, that is not duplication of projects.
“State government should ensure that the 13 per cent allocation touches the lives of the people.”
Akpabio described the NDDC as an organization where everybody contributes while it belonged to nobody, noting that there should be synergy between the Federal and the state governments.
“If we ask why the NDDC has failed, then we have to look back. That is why President Buhari, came up with the forensic audit to salvage the Commission and I think he should be commended for that. We have to know what went wrong.”
Senator Akpabio emphasised on the need for harmony between the NDDC and the state governments in the Niger Delta region for the benefit of the people.
According to him, the disharmony between these critical stakeholders was caused by many factors, including political differences.
“Development should not be tied to any political party because what the people need is development, irrespective of political affiliation. Poverty and hunger have no political party.”