Group urges FG to release N1.8 trillion owed NDDC
A non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Network Advancement Programme for Poverty and Disaster Risks Reduction (NAPPDRR), has called on the Federal Government to release the backlog of N1.8 trillion allocations owed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC).
National President of the group, Al-Mustapher Edoho; Secretary, Adeniyi Ajibola and a Board of Trustees (BoT) member, Uwem Jubril Edukere, said this yesterday during a press conference in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The group, which described the low funding of the commission as one giving the body a bad name as it could not complete many of the projects initiated in the region, said prompt and adequate release of funds to the NDDC would enable the commission carry out empowerment programmes thereby dousing tension in the whole Niger Delta region.
“The N1.8 trillion arrears of allocation owed the commission will go a long way to complete all abandoned projects in the region.
“If the youths are sufficiently engaged with some empowerment schemes, that will effectively complement the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, besides, more funds will help fund strategic capacity-building programmes for youths in the region.
“If the NDDC’s backlog of allocations are released, the agency will be in a better position to engage the restive youths in vocational trainings, workshops and seminars that could change the psyche of the youths towards productive ventures”, the group said.
The leaders, therefore, urged the commission to partner some micro-credit organisations, including SMEDAN, to generate soft loans for jobless youths as such would engage them in small businesses and other ventures that would later turn them into independent employers of labour.
Edoho, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for regaining his health to be able to preside over the affairs of the country, said: “As Niger Delta remains the goose that lays the golden eggs, more funding will assist the NDDC to address various environmental issues plaguing the region, including oil spill, oil exploration degradation, housing problem and ecological disasters.”