The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has given reasons why the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (INEC) is yet to be inaugurated.
Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari is still working on a formula for the commission following the submission on the forensic audit kg the NDDC account.
According to the Minister, the yet-to-be inaugurated NDDC board would have to work with the formula created by the President.
Naija News reports that Akpabio stated this in a statement he personally signed on Friday.
The former governor was reacting to a publication in the media (not Naija News) claiming he has denied responsibility of constituting the Commission’s board.
Akpabio, who expressed shock over the write-up, stated that he was alarmed at the extent of falsehood the writers went in pushing their anti- Niger Delta agenda, to scuttle the due consideration of the report of the Forensic Audit by stampeding the government.
He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Mr President has set out to reposition the NDDC after 19 years of rot saw to the undermining of the dreams of the fathers of the region, to fast track its development through the setting up of an interventionist agency.
“Part of the strategy was a forensic audit to understand what went wrong, despite the resources committed to the Commission over the years.
“The report of that audit has just been submitted to Mr President, who is studying it to come up with a formula for a commission fit for purpose. That formula is what the board being put together will work with.
“It is not in the interest of the region to stampede the government into aborting the reform process. The President has demonstrated immense love for the Niger Delta and its people. This is reflected in the support he has given to the NDDC to complete some of the projects abandoned over the years, like the headquarters complex in Port Harcourt, the Students’ Hostel at Uyo, and the electrification project in Ondo State.”
Apkabio stated that President Buhari wants to give to the Niger Delta region an interventionist agency that will realize the dreams of the region’s fathers.
The minister wanted Nigerians against trying to stampede the president through ingeniously crafted media campaigns.
“I am irrevocably committed to assisting Mr President to leave behind a legacy for the Niger Delta people, particularly, saving the NDDC from dying like past developmental agencies put together for the region since 1958,” Akpabio stated.