Port Harcourt — The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has denied owing six months salaries of security guards working in the Commission, who are allegedly threatening to carry out a protest over non-payment of their monthly salaries.
The interventionist agency said security companies engaged by it have been paid up to July 2023, hence there was no basis in its alleged owing workers’ arrears.
NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Pius Ughakpoteni, in a statement sighted by SweetcrudeReports in Port Harcourt, said monies meant for payment of salaries were not diverted to other businesses as being alleged.
Ughakpoteni assured that the NDDC management would not be distracted in its resolve to do things differently and make a difference in the Niger Delta.
He said: “We wish to state that the Commission engages security companies that hire and pay security guards to work at our various offices to safeguard our facilities. These service providers are certainly not being owed for six months as alleged in the media reports.
“The security companies for Delta and Rivers state offices, mentioned in the reports, have been paid up to July as at August 22, 2023. Hence, there is no basis for them to owe their workers arrears of salaries, especially as the contract they signed with NDDC has a clause that states that they must have the capacity to pay their staff for at least two months in the event of any delay from the Commission.
“We want to assure the security workers that monies meant for payment of their salaries were not diverted to other businesses as being alleged. We, therefore, urge them to disabuse their minds of the misinformation in the media.
Ughakpoteni added: “It is necessary to add that the Commission has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for corrupt practices. Any member of the public who has any evidence of such practices should reach out to the Commission for prompt action.
“May we remind our fellow Niger Delta brothers that the threat to protest at the Commission’s offices is no longer tenable, as genuine stakeholders in the Niger delta region have since embraced peaceful engagements since the emergence of the Dr Samuel Ogbuku-led management team.
“It is noteworthy that within a very short period of time, the Management team has laid the foundation for the rapid economic development of the region and put in place an enduring and sustainable governance structure for the effective operations of the Commission.
“We re-state that entrenching the tenets of accountability and transparency in our activities forms part of the thrust of the new Management.
“We assure our stakeholders and members of the public that the NDDC Management will not be distracted in its resolve to do things differently and make a difference in the Niger Delta.”