The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) must be restructured to engender Southsouth’s development, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has advised.
Obaseki believes that rather than spur the zone’s development, the current structure of the NDDC had caused underdevelopment of the Southsouth states.
He also said that the Southsouth had the needed resources to develop itself but for ”pretenders,” who according to him, must be stopped.
The governor spoke during his meeting with members of the Southsouth Zonal Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Government House, Benin yesterday.
Obaseki said: “In the Southsouth, we must stand up to defend ourselves economically, politically, and security-wise. We have pretenders in the region, who try to exploit the region and we must stop them.
”The Southsouth region has the needed resources to develop itself, but the inability to do this has impeded growth.”
”We have enough money in the region to build infrastructure and revive the economy. We can do it ourselves by stopping the interference.”
“The current structure of the NDDC has caused underdevelopment in the region, with the Federal Government not showing any concern.
“What is going on in NDDC today is totally untenable. NDDC cannot do any work in Edo and other states in the Southsouth. You cannot use the resources meant for the region to develop other regions of the country.”
The governor also claimed that the Federal Government seemed not to care about the scandals in the NDDC.
Meanwhile, Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio has said he has not awarded any contract since his appointment.
Akpabio, who hosted the Secretary of the Interim Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Akpan Udohedehen, in Abuja, however, said the ministry has completed 73 road contracts awarded before he came on board.
He said: “We have not given out one single contract since we came on board, but we have meticulously worked on old contracts which we believe will be useful to the people. “As we speak, 73 roads have been completed, some dating back to 2003, 2005 and 2006.”