By; Patrick Titus, Uyo
Akwa Ibom state said over 239 projects initiated by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the state since 2010 have been abandoned.
Governor Udom Emmanuel stated this in Uyo when he received a 10-man Senate Committee on Niger Delta affairs led by Senator Nwaobosi Onyeluka who were also accompanied by NDDC Acting Chairman, Mrs. Ibim Sementari and her management team.
Emmanuel wanted NDDC to list names of contractors handling the various projects and their locations in the state to enable the state government determine their capability as well as viability of the projects to the people.
The Governor who noted that Akwa Ibom State contributed over 40 per cent to the national wealth, said the Commission has not been fair to the state in its mandate, adding that the state ought to be treated better.
“If equity and fairness are necessary in the Nigerian project, Akwa Ibom deserves to be treated better. NDDC must constantly cross check with government before embarking on projects so as to avoid unnecessary duplication of projects. The Commission should manage projects implementation property in order to meet international standards”, Governor Emmanuel stated.
He charged the Committee Members to prevail upon NDDC to ensure the completion of abandoned projects before embarking on new ones as a crucial part of development in the state.
Governor Emmanuel who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo also appealed to the Committee to ensure that ex-militants from the state who were not integrated into the amnesty programme be included in the training programme.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nwaobosi Onyeluka told Governor Emmanuel that the visit to the state was to find out the impact of the NDDC on the people of the Niger Delta and matters related thereto as NDDC falls within the purview of the Senate Committee and has the mandate to investigate all monies spent by the Commission from inception to date.
According to Senator Onyeluka, “the National Assembly would override the President in the belief that the goose tbat lays the golden eggs should be well taken care of. The visit is timely as the 2016 Appropriation Bill for NDDC is to be released; there was the burning need to find out the feelings of the states of the Niger Delta. We are not here to witch-hunt anybody but as partners of the Niger Delta, we need to know.”