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Akpabio Blames NDDC Woes On Lack Of Proper Consultation


Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has identified a lack of proper consultation and engagement with communities and State Governments within the region as factors sitting on the wheels of progress of the region. 

Akpabio made the assertion at Strategic Capacity Building Workshop/Retreat on the theme – “NDDC: Collaborating, Planning and Re-Strategizing for a better Niger Delta Region”, in Uyo on Friday.

Such deficiencies, Akpabio said, have engendered and aggravated mistrust and lack of buy-in on projects initiated and executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). 

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has identified a lack of proper consultation and engagement with communities and State Governments within the region as factors sitting on the wheels of progress of the region. 

Such deficiencies, Akpabio said, have engendered and aggravated mistrust and lack of buy-in on projects initiated and executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). 

Akpabio made the assertion at Strategic Capacity Building Workshop/Retreat on the theme – “NDDC: Collaborating, Planning and Re-Strategizing for a better Niger Delta Region”, in Uyo on Friday.

He said conflicts in communities arising from those who had felt alienated before projects were awarded to their environments,  have contributed to abandoned, partly executed and vandalisation of completed projects. 

The supervising minister of the Commission blamed government officials and all relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta region for past failures of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to deliver on its mandate.

The Minister said transparency and inclusiveness in the commission’s budgeting systems, evaluation and strict monitoring of projects and programmes are necessary ingredients towards the realization of its mandate. 

“Corruption is one of the greatest problems of the Nigerian society and it also finds its ugly and devastating effects in all sectors of the polity including the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The supervising minister of the Commission blamed government officials and all relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta region for past failures of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to deliver on its mandate.

The Minister said transparency and inclusiveness in the commission’s budgeting systems, evaluation and strict monitoring of projects and programmes are necessary ingredients towards the realization of its mandate. 

”It has been reported that the level of corruption engulfed all the sectors including government, parastatals, ministries, government officials and community leaders even the youth leaders and NDDC was not left out in the act.

”If strengthening NDDC, as an institution through its budgeting systems, as well as through its procurement, monitoring, evaluation and compliance processes, is not achieved, then the bells of doom would, inevitably, begin to toll harder.

”Secondly, we should look at governance issues. It is often stated that “weak political and institutional governance in the Niger Delta has led to the misuse of public resources, poor service delivery, and the poor enforcement, of the law.

”The consequence has been the lingering restiveness, the breakdown of trust, abuse and misuse of power between officials and the communities, and embezzlement and attendant violence.

”Yet, every concerned party is guilty. Private investors in the oil and gas sector, factions of different community restive groups, traditional rulers, the regulatory and supervisory agencies and government officials have

been fingered as contributory to the challenges in establishing good governance.

Earlier, the Interim Administor and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Barr Effiong Akwa said the retreat was  in furtherance of the Commission’s ongoing consultations with internal and external stakeholders of the NDDC. 

“We are here  today to work towards creation of commonalities among stakeholders for speedy development of our beloved Niger Delta region. 

“With all sense of modesty, I put to you all that the NDDC is born again. Contrary to its unsavoury past ways, the core of our new personae is continual consultations and collaboration with stakeholders to co-create commonalities for effective development of the Niger Delta.

“So, in rounding off, I beckon on all stakeholders of the NDDC and the Niger Delta. Please come and let us reason together. Please come, let us work together to create a common way forward for the benefit of our people,” he said.

Credit: Independent

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