The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio has assured that a new board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, would be inaugurated once the summary of the forensic audit report is submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sen. Akpabio, who gave the assurance when the members of the Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council, NDENYLC, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, said a reformed NDDC would emerge with new terms of reference.
The minister, who commended the coming together of the different ethnic nationalities in the region to speak with one voice, noted that this would not only afford the people of the region the opportunity to discuss emerging issues but also enable them to take a stand on the way forward, in order to find solution to the problems of the region.
Akpabio explained further that the Covid-19 Pandemic has affected development in Nigeria while prompting, President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate reforms that will affect the region positively.
He, therefore, added that the government has commenced the cleaning up of polluted areas in Ogoni Land and has taken steps to see that projects are completed and commissioned, while the incoming board would be encouraged to complete some of the abandoned 14,000 projects discovered through the forensic audit.
Speaking further, Akpabio said refocusing of the NDDC would help the incoming board to work hard in developing the infrastructural needs of the people that would lead to investment and assist the region in terms of empowering and developing the entrepreneurship skills of the youths so that they can be more focused.
According to him, “At this time when insecurity seems to be the other of the day, the Niger Delta region has remained the safest place.
“This shows that the youths have decided to embrace peace and the reason for this is that, the Present administration has continued with the amnesty programme.
“Youths are also involved in the development of modular refineries under the Local Content Act, skill acquisition centers have also been completed by the Ministry which when put to use will help in empowering the youths of the region.”
“President Muhammadu administration has initiated various programmes to assuage and ensure that the youths have reliable source of livelihood. The Ministry is also discussing with various funding agencies to ensure that Section I-IV of the East-West road which has been under construction since 2006 is completed and commissioned by 2022.
Speaking earlier, the President-General of the youths group, Comrade Terry Obieh passed a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of MNDA, Sen. Akpabio, for their achievements and development of the Niger Delta region.
According to the group leader, “the forum represents all registered Ethnic Nationalities in the Niger Delta region, “As youths of the Niger Delta region we have decided that there will be no more divergent views and opinions concerning issues bordering on the Niger Delta region.
“We have decided as the umbrella organization of all youth groups to speak with one voice. We reiterate our trust on the person of the Minister as the only person who can be trusted with the commonwealth of the people of the region.”