• Monday, May 20, 2024
businessday logo


Akpabio joins call for revised master plan for Niger Delta development

Godswill Akpabio

The minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, has joined calls for the revision of the Niger Delta Master Plan even as no evidence exists that any percentage of the more than 10 year old plan exists.

The outcry in the oil region has been that despite over N3 trillion spent, most of the 8000 contracts in the past 19 years are abandoned while non-essential jobs have been executed based on clannish interests.

This weekend, the minister said that the ministry is committed to harmonizing the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan with the Niger Delta Action Plan to produce one regional road map for development in Nigeria’s oil-rich region. Many have however always said the problem has not been about the plan but about massive looting of funds from the commission and abandonment of projects. Also, whereas the plan urges all development agencies and governments to consult the plan, none seemed to fow the line.

Akpabio, who spoke at the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) permanent headquarters at the Eastern By-Pass, Port Harcourt, harped on the need for collaboration and synergy in the effort to develop the Niger Delta region.

The visiting team was received by the NDDC Acting Managing Director, the professor, Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei where the minister regretted that the NDDC had not lived up to expectations, noting: “Whether we like it or not, this child (NDDC) has not grown well in 19 years. It could have done better. Perhaps, we lost track of the developmental plan of the Niger Delta region.”

He, however, congratulated the NDDC Acting Managing Director and members of the IMC for doing a good job in delivering the new office complex, which he described as “a good story for the NDDC.” He said change has come.

Akpabio said that Pondei should be proud to be the first Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC to move into a new edifice. “The completion of the new NDDC headquarters is a positive story for Nigeria, especially when you consider that the project has taken over 24 years to get to this point.

“It is to the glory of President Buhari that we are sitting in the new headquarters today. This is a legacy project which the IMC will be remembered for.”

Speaking earlier, the NDDC CEO said that the new headquarters would add value to the work of the NDDC towards meeting its mandate of facilitating the rapid development of the Niger Delta region.

In his own remarks, the NDDC Director of Project Monitoring and Supervision, Tonye George, said that he felt fulfilled that the project, which started in 1993 during the days of the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC, was virtually completed.