Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the cordial relationship existing between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the National Assembly.
The president, who spoke yesterday at the virtual inauguration of the NDDC headquarters building in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, called for the sustenance of the relationship for the development of the Niger Delta region.
While commending the management and staff of the NDDC for staying the course and keying into the reform agenda of his administration, President Buhari declared “I am particularly pleased to note the cordial relationship between the NDDC and the National Assembly and hope that this relationship will be strengthened further for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta region.”
He also commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for his steadfastness in ending many years of renting by the commission, and the attendant profligacy.
His words: “I, therefore, use this opportunity to commend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for providing the required leadership that saw to the completion of this edifice.”
The president said the land on which the NDDC headquarters was built was acquired by the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in 1996, and was abandoned after series of design amendments.
“In 2015, as part of our administration’s cardinal objectives to kill corruption, some critical reforms were embarked upon, part of which was a holistic reform of the NDDC for greater service delivery for the people of the region.
“To achieve this, I reassigned the supervision of the NDDC to the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for administrative efficiency. Second, was the appointment of Forensic Auditors to review the operations of the commission from inception to 2019 and to ensure that the appropriations made to the NDDC are commensurate with what is on the ground,’’ the President explained.
President Buhari while urging the NDDC management to commit the funds used for renting to more rewarding benefits said “we are handing over to the people of Niger Delta, a befitting Head Office Complex for present and future use. Consequently, huge yearly rentals would now be saved and deployed to other areas of needs in the region”