You Can’t Direct Buhari on NDDC Funds, Akpabio Tells South-south Govs

Godswill Akpabio

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has faulted calls by governors of the South-south geo-political zone that funds for the running of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) be kept in an escrow account until the emergence of a board for the commission, insisting that the governors have no powers to direct the president on what to do.

Akpabio spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt while fielding questions from journalists during a press briefing ahead of the inauguration of the headquarters of the NDDC by President Muhammadu Buhari virtually tomorrow (Thursday).

The six governors of the South-south region had condemned the continued running of the interventionist agency without a management board and had advocated that the funds be kept in an escrow account until a board is set up for the commission.

But Akpabio faulted the governors and declared that they had no right to give directives to the President.

He said: “I’m not aware that the governors are the ones that give directive to the President. So, if you are saying that the South-south governors just finished their meeting and gave directives to the President not to release funds, I want to let you know that we have pleaded with the governors, even when I was a governor to ensure that local government have elected executives. Some governors for eight years use caretaker committees to run local government and the federal government has not denied them their funds”.

He explained that he was not against the constitution of a board for the NDDC but added that it was being delayed by the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC which he said had reached an advanced stage and would be concluded in no distant time.