Chairman, Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission,Lauretta Onochie,has said that the money meant for development of Niger Delta was squandered in Abuja, Lagos, United Kingdom, Dubai others by people whose responsibility was to develop the region.
Onochie,who disclosed this when she addressed management and staff of the commission at its (NDDC) headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Thursday,said the development was responsible for increased poverty in the region.
She expressed regret over the impact of the agency on the region, describing it as shameful not just to the Niger Delta region and Nigeria.
She said:”Today is a historic day. I’m not just for the people of Niger Delta, but for the women of Nigeria. And being a historic day, we have a lot of things going on today.
“Like the MD had said earlier, he has said a lot I would have said. But, let me remind us why we are here. This (NDDC) is an organization, a commission that was commissioned specifically for the people of Niger Delta. It is an interventionist agency that is supposed to bring about prosperity; it is supposed to bring development in our region.
“This organization was set up in the year 2000. And, if you go round the Niger Delta till date, there is little or nothing to show for it. NDDC has been a shame of the Niger Delta and a shame of our nation. For the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been determined to turn things around.
“As I said yesterday, at our inauguration, he (Buhari) never does things in his own interest. Everything he does, he does in the interest of Nigerians. And this board you see here represents that interest. We are here to reposition NDDC. We are here to serve people of the Niger Delta and by extension people of Nigeria. We are here to do things differently.”
Earlier, the new Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the commission, Samuel Ogbuku, said it was an auspicious day, which witnessed official handing over from outgoing managing director to the successor.
“We are not here like one party handing over from one party. We are not here to fight anybody. We are all people from Niger Delta. I want all of you to be rest assured that, based on your competence, you are going to be working with this administration. We are definitely not going to look at mediocrity. Everything has be based on your competence. If you show ingenuity, you have a chance to work with us.”
He assured that a enabling working environment would be provided for the staff for them to demonstrate their ingenuity, because they were carriers of stigmatization.
He added:”Out there, everybody believes that NDDC has failed. So, you are stigmatized to the part of the failure. I am saying what people out there are saying. It may not be fact, it could just be an assumption. But, the staff work here seems to have some level of stigmatization. I don’t blame you; may be, you have not been given the enabling environment”.
Reply, Reply All or Forward