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FG moves to recover $5.6b, N649b debts oil firms owe NDDC

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
18 December 2021   |   3:56 am
The Federal Government has set up a committee to recover $5.6 billion and about N649 billion which oil companies owe the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Godswill Akpabio

The Federal Government has set up a committee to recover $5.6 billion and about N649 billion which oil companies owe the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, who disclosed this in Abuja while receiving the Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Tijani Muhammad-Bande, in his office, said the committee was headed by the Minister of Finance to recover the monies.

According to Akpabio, the NDDC is currently on life support, following huge debt owed it by oil companies. He lamented that the commission could barely pay salaries of staff from what it is getting monthly due to the development.

“At the last count, about $5.6 billion and about N649 billion are monies owed to the NDDC by oil companies. So, the NDDC itself is on life support because what they get on a monthly basis is just enough to pay their salaries and maintain their offices, but people are not aware,” Akpabio said.

The minister said President Muhammadu Buhari would open a 1050-bed hostel in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State by December 30 this year. He also said that the President would open another 132KV substation in Ondo State, which will supply electricity to about 5 local governments that have been in darkness for 14 years.

According to the minister, many projects have been completed in the Niger Delta while many are still on-going, such as the East West Road that is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

“We have completed many projects. Also, the East-West road is ongoing with about 41 bridges. We have moved it from 76 per cent completion that we met on ground to over 82 per cent as I speak.

I believe that sections 1 to 4, which is a distance of 338km, will be opened by President Buhari by the end of next year.

“A lot of changes are taking place in the region outside human capital development. We are also involved in skills acquisition, we have built skills acquisition centres in all the 9 states of the Niger Delta, and many of them have been completed,” he said. Earlier, Muhmmad-Bande commended the minister for the development and peace experienced in the Niger Delta.