Pondei laments non-Passage of NDDC 2020 budget
Niger Delta people have been accused of frustrating the passage of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) 2020 budget and hindering the development of the region.
NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, who made the allegation, charged communities in the Niger Delta region to assist in monitoring the execution of development projects in their localities.
Pondei spoke while addressing Isoko traditional rulers and leaders of thought under the auspices of the Isoko Development Union Worldwide at the new NDDC Headquarters in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
He lamented that the Commission had been bogged down by distractions by those who did not mean well for the region.
“As at today, we don’t have an approved budget to work with and unfortunately, we are being frustrated by our own people. If we don’t have an approved budget to work with, it is the Niger Delta that will suffer. If the Interim Management Committee, (IMC) is being told not to start any project and not to pay contractors that have worked for us, you can imagine the negative effect it would have on the lives of our people,” he said.
Pondei noted that for Niger Delta region to move forward, the NDDC should be executing big-ticket projects that would impact positively on the people and pay less attention to small projects.
“We should be intervening in big regional projects. A situation where many projects are put in the budget and we end up not completing a good number of them is not good for us,” he said.
Pondei commended the Isoko leaders for helping in monitoring the performance of NDDC contractors in their area.
He assured them that the Commission would “from time to time be publishing the payments to contractors so that communities can assist in verifying them to march the money spent with the project on ground.”
The President General of Isoko Development Union Worldwide, High Chief Iduh Amadhe, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC even as he commended the transparency and accountability exhibited by the IMC of the Commission.
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