Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Cross River State Government has appealed to the federal government to urgently implement the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) master plan so as to bring meaningful development to the region.
Governor Ben Ayade’s Special Assistant on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Affairs, Mr. Victor Ekpo, made the call in Calabar at the weekend while speaking with some journalists in Calabar.
Ekpo lamented that the master plan has been in the cooler for many years, and therefore, it was high time the master plan was implemented.
Ekpo said the Niger Delta region has not tested development because the master plan, which he noted “is all embracing, capturing several projects and programmes,” has been abandoned and decried the poor patronage of the state by the commission in terms of projects’ distribution.
Ekpo lauded the appointment of Ndoma-Egba, Nsime Ekere and Sylvester Nsa as Chairman, Managing Director and Commissioner, respectively into the Board of NDDC.
The special adviser said there was need for the NDDC to do more for the state.
“If you check 2015/2016 budget, a lot of laudable projects have been pushed to the background,” he said.
Ekpo tasked the new board to go into the achives and “look into the NDDC master plan and implement it because it will help develop the Niger Delta and take the boys off the creeks and check current level of militancy and pipeline vandalism.”
He said very soon, he would embark on inspection tour of all NDDC projects in the state and report back to the governor, whom he said is very passionate about the wellbeing of the people and the development of the state.
On abandoned NDDC projects in the state, Ekpo said the board, which is expected to be inaugurated soon, should ensure that the contractors handling such projects return to site without delay.
The special adviser appealed to the federal government to support the governor’s initiative towards constructing the proposed 260 kilometres super highway from the southern to the northern part of the state.
“The federal government should support our governor’s idea towards the super highway because the existing road has become a death trap.
“Let the result on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), come out so that we can construct the road and bring economic dividend to the state,” Ekpo said.