…as Niger Delta Ministry, Edo govt partner to revive housing scheme
The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, has said the dissolution of the recently screened board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was in order, as the move prevented the perpetuation of corruption in the interventionist agency.
The minister, during a courtesy visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki at Government House, in Benin City, said the new leadership of the ministry would not sit and watch corruption thrive, which is why it worked meticulously to put the right people in the right places.
On his part, Governor Obaseki said, “We support the reorganisation that is taking place in the NDDC. I don’t believe that there is any other state that has been deprived like Edo in terms of resources that were allocated to it through the NDDC.”
Speaking on the forensic audit of the NDDC, Senator Alasoadura said, “The first thing is the forensic audit. We have to know what was wrong in the past and what we can do to ameliorate it.
“We know a lot of corrupt practices was perpetuated in NDDC in the past, as almost N3 trillion was expended with nothing to show for it. We have about 12,000 abandoned NDDC projects and these are projects that are not really worth doing at all.”
He noted that the ministry was happy with the dissolution of the NDDC board by the president, as it was set up at a wrong time, stressing, “When we were saying we want to find out what had happened in the past, people just rushed to form a new board and as far as we are concerned, we saw that as ensuring it was business as usual for the new people.”
Senator Alasoadura commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for ensuring a conducive environment in the state for businesses to thrive and assured of the ministry’s support for the government.
The minister expressed dissatisfaction with the quality and state of the housing estate projects executed by the ministry in the state, adding that he was in Edo to evaluate such projects.
“I was discouraged and sad when I saw the housing scheme being developed by our ministry in this state. The place is so bushy; almost everything has been vandalized. I believe if that place had been completed, people will not want to stay there because there is no infrastructure, schools or a security post,” he said.
Meanwhile, the governor said the previous management apologized that they did not achieve 20 per cent allocation performance in the state.
The governor said the state government would work better with the new management of the Ministry of Niger Delta as it believes the ministry would ensure that the NDDC is no longer used as political slush fund but rather for the development of the region.