Port Harcourt — The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has sought the support of the United States Consulate, in ensuring that oil firms operating in the region remit payments due to the Commission as at when due, as stipulated by law.
The Interim Administrator of NDDC, Mr Effiong Akwa, made the call while receiving the team from the United States Consulate, led by the Political and Economic Chief, Mr. Brandon Hudspeth, at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Akwa regretted that oil firms delay in the remittance of the statutory three percent of their annual budget to NDDC for the development of the Niger Delta region.
He called for a collaboration with the United States government in its efforts to produce a revised regional development master plan for the Niger Delta region.
“We have a good relationship with the oil companies but sometimes they delay in paying their statutory remittances.
“The law says that they should pay three per cent of their annual budget to NDDC for the development of the Niger Delta region. Most of these funds are often delayed.
“They should be made to fulfill their obligations to the commission. This will help in stabilizing the region because security of the region means security for oil production.”
The NDDC boss also called on the United States Consulate to establish an office in Port Harcourt, to ease off the stress on residents in the Niger Delta region ,who have to transact business with the US Consulate.
“Please open an office here in Port Harcourt so those of us in the Niger Delta region would not need to travel all the way to Lagos to transact our business with you.”
Earlier, the Political and Economic Chief, US Consulate in Nigeria, Mr. Brandon Hudspeth, said US would continue to collaborate with NDDC on strategies to improve peace and security to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Hudspeth said his country and Nigeria were close allies working together to foster the bilateral relationship between both countries to improve lives, especially in the Niger Delta region.