• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

N/Delta elders demand payment of N3trn allegedly owed NDDC

NDDC presents N1.9trn 2024 budget to House of Reps, pledges accelerated development

Stakeholders in the oil-rich Niger Delta region have urged the Federal Government to pay N3 trillion allegedly owed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

They made the demand during a one-day summit to discuss issues and challenges facing the Niger Delta recently.

Jasper Jumbo, spokesman of the Niger Delta elders, who played a role in the creation of the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) and later the NDDC, said the Act that set up the commission left out seven key proposals for its establishment.

He said the FG began to owe the commission from inception and still expects it to deliver.

He put the amount owed at over N3 trillion. He said the FG should be told to go and borrow from wherever they have been borrowing to defray the debt. He said this was an appeal, not by violent agitation, but that the appeal was to get real peace.

According to him, the FG should release the funds so the people would watch and see how this present management would fail to pay the contractors. He said the region was full of abandoned projects due to lack of funds.

He also demanded a three percent of value-added tax (VAT) being given to the North-East Development Commission.

Supporting the elders, the representative of Edwin Clark of the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) backed the present management and board of the NDDC

He said the stagnation of the NDDC was caused by fund failure by the FG and poor management.

He called for a review of the Act to bring in more sources of funds.

Samuel Ogbuku, managing director of the NDDC, however, revealed that the FG has already approved N1 trillion to handle definite projects.

He gave an account of the progress in the region and measures put in place for transparent transformation as opposed to transaction.