Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State has assured the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of the support of his administration to ensure that the commission succeeds in the task of developing the Niger Delta region.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by Head, Corporate Affairs NDDC, Charles Odili, the governor gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by the NDDC acting Managing Director, Dr Joi Nunieh and her team of directors at the Imo State Government House, Owerri.
The governor, who noted that the essence of the NDDC was to take development to the rural areas of the Niger Delta region, lamented that many years after, “the dreams of the founding fathers have not been realised.”
Ihedioha affirmed that the Imo State government was in full alignment with President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to set up interim management to put things right in the interventionist agency for the Niger Delta.
“The task before the NDDC is enormous but I am confident that you will succeed, especially if you collaborate with the state governments. We have a duty and responsibility to serve the people in the rural areas and the Imo State government will work for hands in gloves with you to serve our people.
“I endorse the forensic audit which I believe will expose the bad eggs that have been working against the region. I commend the president for taking measures to ensure that things work well again in the country,” he said.
Ihedioha expressed disappointment that in spite of the huge resources that had been made available for the development of the Niger Delta region, it was still lagging behind in the provision of basic infrastructure.
“It pains me that today after several years, the East-West Road which runs through the Niger Delta region is yet to be completed. Again, our region has the worst network of roads in the country,” he added.
He also observed that people from other parts of the country would no longer sympathise with Niger Deltans because the people have not utilised the opportunities given to the region through the 13 per cent derivation properly, adding “We have been sabotaging ourselves.”
Earlier, the acting NDDC Chief Executive Officer told the governor that the Interim Management Committee was the ombudsman of the forensic audit ordered by President Buhari.
“We shall duly and diligently carry out the audit, not minding whose ox is gored and ensure that everyone who collected money for any contract or service from the commission, delivers same to the region,” she said.
Nunieh pledged to carry out the directives of the president to stop the rot at NDDC and turn things around for good, saying, however, that it was not all gloom and negativity in the NDDC.
She told the governor: “You shall henceforth see a completely different NDDC that will be collaborative rather than in competition; an NDDC that will build synergy with the state governments that will enhance the development of the region.