Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has challenged the new interim management of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to determined to make a difference, by changing the current narrative of the commission.
Governor Wike said the narrative has been that every leadership of NDDC serves the interest of outsiders, while abandoning its core mandate of developing the region.
The governor made the declaration when he played host to the Interim Management Committee of NDDC, led by the Interim Administrator, Mr Effiong Akwa, on courtesy visit to Government House, Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike said people are abusing the entire region because the ommission has wasted trillions of Dollars without lifting the masses of the region out of poverty or commensurate developmental projects on ground to show for the funds received .
“The problem with us is that you allow people outside to control you. You want to have godfathers from East, West and North. NDDC is created for Niger Delta. Use the money for the people and region.
“They are abusing us that Niger Delta is a curse. Trillions of dollars have been spent, and we cannot say this is what we have spent the money on.
“Those Abuja portfolio contractors are part of the people controlling you. They tell you what to do and you do it for fear that they will remove you. But eventually, you will be removed. So, why not work for the people. When you’re removed, you’ll know you did your best for the region.”
The governor cautioned the NDDC management to obey subsisting court order that makes mandatory for the commission to seek the consent of the state government before embarking on any project, particularly in Rivers State.
He warned that if the commission defies the state government, then, the commission will be dragged to court for contempt.
“I will not hesitate to tell the Attorney General to file contempt against officials of NDDC and NDDC itself. We will not hesitate. The only way you can talk about good governance is when you obey the rule of law. There cannot be good governance when there is nothing to show you obey the law. Good governance is predicated on the rule of law.”
He urged them to conceptualise regional project for execution to end the piecemeal partner they had adopted, which has not moved the region forward in terms of infrastructural development.
Earlier, the Interim Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Mr Effiong Akwa, said the visit was first to be undertaken by his team to any governor in the region.
Akwa informed the governor that with the newly built permanent NDDC head office now completed, they are ready to commission it on 25th February, 2021.
The Interim Administrator on behalf of the commission also ,presented six waste disposal trucks to the Rivers State Government to improve the sanitary conditions in the state.