Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo says the political class has derailed the noble objectives for the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Dr. Banigo stated this while declaring open the Technical Sessions of the 4th National Council on Niger Delta at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, 15th December 2020.
According to the Deputy Governor, one of the main reasons for the establishment of the NDDC was to build infrastructure and human capital development in the Niger Delta, but regretted that the commission has been degraded to a mere ATM center for political sponsorship and patronage of the ruling party.
The Deputy Governor said, “the increasing rate of abandoned projects by the NDDC, frequent changes in the leadership, massive corruption and the lack of accountability is a deviation from the dreams of the founding fathers that fought for a prosperous future for the Niger Delta”.
Dr. Banigo said the recent Appeal Court Judgement that makes it obligatory for NDDC to work in consonance with Governors in the Region, in the execution of developmental projects was timely, noting that Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has continued to demonstrate great passion in the strive for rapid development and socio-economic freedom of our Region.
“Governor Wike has remained vocal in the fight for the wellbeing of the Niger Delta. Indeed, he is the Golden Voice of the Niger Delta in view of his Political impact as a forthright and sagacious politician” Dr. Banigo stressed.
Dr. Banigo further said “our resolve today should be sincerely channeled towards providing a realistic road map that will trigger job opportunities, economic empowerment and check insecurity in our Region”
The Deputy Governor, who thanked the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs for Choosing Rivers State to host the 4th National Council on Niger Delta, urged participants to come up with a long term workable guideline with institutional and legislative framework.
In his Address the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo said in the Technical Sessions critical issues of gas flaring affecting the Region as well as the report of the 3rd National Council of the Ministry would be looked into.
Also speaking the Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Didi Walson Jack, said the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has all the documentation it needs to get the Region working, noting that there is a Niger Delta Action Plan of the Ministry, that needs to be reviewed and updated to enable the plan to drive the NDDC Regional Master plan.
Earlier the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Effiong Okon Akwa, had said Rives State was fast becoming the model of development, which according to him has to do with structured planning.
“You can see planning at work; you can see the commitment of the executive at work, that is why I am convinced that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs thought it wise to choose Rivers State as the best place for this gathering”. The Sole Administrator further said.