• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Rivers APC asks Buhari to release N800bn owed NDDC

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Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise the payment of some N800 billion owed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the preceding administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The party in opposition in Rivers, in a statement in Port Harcourt Tuesday, also expressed appreciation to President Buhari for the recent appointment of Ibim Semenitari as the new NDDC managing director in acting capacity, describing it as a New Year gift to the Niger-Delta region.

According to the party, it is convinced that Semenitari will surely live the ideals and vision of President Buhari in the region.

Semenitari has within few weeks at the helm of affairs at NDDC demonstrated understanding of her task and the relevance of the commission to the region, the Rivers APC said.

Rivers APC chairman, Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, commended Semenitari for fashioning out what he described as “new strategies on how to develop the Niger-Delta region,” expressing optimism that her tenure would mark the beginning of the greatness of the region.

The party, however, expressed sadness that the Jonathan administration allegedly made things difficult for the new NDDC management by accumulating up to N400 billion debts to about 8,000 contractors, mostly Niger Delta sons and daughters, which it said, undermined Section 14 (2A & C) of the NDDC Act, which has to do with funding of the Commission, which it alleged, was not complied with throughout the previous administration.

“We plead with the new administration of President Buhari to assist the region by authorising the immediate release of the N800 billion owed NDDC by the Federal Government, to enable the Commission meet up with her statutory obligation to the region.

“In making this demand, we are aware of the poor state of our common patrimony, but seeing the strategic inputs of this region to both the economic and political life of our nation, the need for the release of this fund cannot be over-emphasised. We will like to suggest that it will be very helpful to work out a programme for release of the money so far withheld. These releases can be tied to specific projects on roads, rail, power and even oil refining,” the party said.

Rivers APC also solicited the support of all Niger Deltans for the new NDDC management, and urged Semenitari not to relent until the Commission achieved its essence for the region by ensuring the completion of the numerous projects started by her predecessors, for the emancipation and development of the region.

“We at the same time counsel the new NDDC leadership to initiate a stakeholders’ meeting of prominent actors in the region with the hope of harnessing a common front for a greater future for the region,” the Rivers APC said.