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Delta deplores graft in NDDC, urges immediate inauguration of its board


Kingsley Otuaro. PHOTO:

Delta State Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, yesterday, flayed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for embarking on what he described as “small projects” in the region, yet submitting huge receipts for them.

He, therefore, called for the immediate inauguration of the interventionist agency’s board for accountability and performance.

Otuaro, who spoke on a live television programme, insisted that the oil-rich area was in dire need of massive infrastructure to improve the lot of the riverine communities.

His words: “We are not pleased with the way NDDC is going about the development of the region. They do one small de-silting project and XYZ billions are gone. We think that is not the way to go. We need infrastructure development in the region that will be worthwhile, impacting the lives of our people – major roads and bridges – that’s what we expect the NDDC to do.

“It’s better to take up a major project, maybe a bridge or a major road than these pockets of small jobs here and there like supply of items, buying of ambulance and the likes. I’m not saying all of that is bad, but those could be ancillary. We look forward to an NDDC that would be constructing major bridges, roads and infrastructure for our people. If we have a major road traversing the riverine communities, for example, Delta is a huge riverine state and 40 per cent of our land mass is riverine. We have a little over 160 kilometres of coastline that speaks volume to the fact that a lot of our communities are in the coastline. Many of them are not accessible by land.”

Otuaro continued: “We have a lot of communities in Ndokwa and Warri North (councils) for instance. In Warri North, the whole local government is in the riverine. In Warri South West, Burutu and Bomadi councils, over 90 per cent of the local governments are in the riverine. ”

And these communities are not as developed as the urban communities and basically, these are the communities that own the oil and gas deposits in the state. So if we have a situation where the NDDC is linking community A in the riverine to another community B somewhere, we will applaud them, not these pockets of small projects and all of that.

“That’s not what the government of Delta State wants. That’s not what the people want and we want a kind of change in the right direction and that change can only happen when we have a people and board that are accountable to the people.”

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