By Paul Efiong with agency report
The Federal Government has begun the refund of over N1.3trillion owed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) since inception, acting Managing Director of the Commission, Nelson Brambaifa, has said.
The new chief executive officer of the commission, whose appointment was announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, spoke at the inaugural meeting of the new management of the agency in Port Harcourt, on Monday.
Mr Brambaifa said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the spokesperson of the, Ibitoye Abosede, that the commencement of the refund process is a demonstration of President Buhari’s love for the Niger Delta region.
He said the decision to promptly refund the debt to the Commission was not only the president’s recognition of the need to ameliorate the suffering in the Niger Delta region, but to reassure the people of government’s commitment to their welfare.
For the first time since the establishment of the NDDC, the chairman said the Federal Government has started fulfilling its statutory financial obligations to the Commission in full.
Also, he said Mr Buhari has ensured all other statutory contributors to the funding to the NDDC, like the oil companies, equally met their financial obligations.
He said such contributions will help the agency tackle all grievances of the people to restore peace and security in the region.
Mr Brambaifa said the appointment of the new NDDC management team is another way to give hope to the Niger Delta people and restore their confidence that the government will take decisive action to rebuild the region.
He said his board will strive to implement the mandate of the Commission, to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is “socially stable, economically prosperous, politically peaceful and ecologically regenerative.”
“The task of developing the Niger Delta is too important to be toyed with, and too compelling to waste time on,” the MD said.
He enjoined all interest groups in the Niger Delta to “join hands with members of the new executive management to ensure a smooth transition, as well as contribute to the immediate delivery of Mr President’s mandate.”
The new MD was sworn-in alongside the acting Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Chris Amadi, and the acting Executive Director projects, Samuel Adjogbe.