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Buhari approves forensic audit of NDDC

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Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia (left); Emeka Ihedioha (Imo); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); President Muhammadu Buhari; Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa; Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu of Edo State; and his Akwa Ibom counterpart, Moses Ekpo, during a meeting on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board at the State House in Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a forensic audit of the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2001 to 2019.

Receiving governors of the littoral states and others, led by the Bayelsa chief executive, Seriake Dickson, yesterday in Abuja, Buhari said that what “is presently on ground in the South South region does not reflect the huge resources that have been allocated to the organisation.”

He admitted that the development of the oil-rich area required enormous resources compared to other parts of the country with firmer lands.

The nation’s first citizen, however, said that he would wait for the report of the audit panel before deciding on the next line of action.

Besides, he has approved N10 billion as intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

He made the announcement when he received yesterday a delegation of governors and other leaders from the South East at the State House, Abuja.

The House of Representatives had recently implored the Nigerian leader to begin immediate work on the gateway following a motion sponsored by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, and 11 others.

Following the closure of the facility, international flights had been diverted to the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State, while domestic flights were chanelled to the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri and the Asaba Airport in Delta.

The legislator had noted that the Minister of Aviation, Hardi Sirika, visited Enugu and promised stakeholders that the deal would be executed before the Yuletide.

He lamented that six weeks after, rehabilitation work was yet to begin at the airport.

But reacting yesterday on his Twitter handle @MBuhari, the president stated: “I have approved the sum of N10 billion as an intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. I have the assurances of the Minister of Aviation that the work will be done speedily and to the highest standards.

“Even as we have many items competing for our limited resources, we will continue to prioritise infrastructure investments in every part of the country. It is our responsibility to ensure (that) Nigeria’s infrastructure are fixed. We will keep doing this.”

Buhari said he was aware of the importance of the facility, shut since August 24, 2019, to the socio-economic development of the South East geopolitical zone.

He also acknowledged the infrastructural deficit nationwide, adding that his administration was working towards addressing the situation.

The president appealed to the governors to explain the position to their people.

Leader of the delegation and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, told newsmen that they also sought a declaration of state of emergency on roads and erosion in the region.

Joined by his Enugu counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, he lamented that the closure of the airport had affected economic activities and brought hardship to the people.

Besides, the president has ordered a forensic audit of the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2001 to 2019.

Receiving governors of the littoral states, led by the Bayelsa chief executive, Seriake Dickson, yesterday in Abuja, Buhari said that what “is presently on ground in the South South region does not reflect the huge resources that have been allocated to the organisation.”

He admitted that the development of the oil-rich area required enormous resources compared to other parts of the country with firmer lands.

The nation’s first citizen, however, said that he would wait for the report of the audit panel before deciding on the next line of action.


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