Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs has assured the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in supporting the development of the Niger Delta region.
He said this while speaking during an oversight visit of the Senate Committee to the NDDC permanent headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Nwaoboshi stated that the committee would continue to collaborate with the Interim Administrator, Mr Efiong Akwa and the NDDC as long as he (Akwa) remained the CEO of the Commission.
“The Interim Administrator, Mr Efiong Akwa, has been so nice in terms of reaching out, communicating and discussing. He opened discussions with us. He apologised for whatever happened in the past and he told us that he is ready to work for the people of the Niger Delta region. We are happy that he accepted that there is need for cooperation and collaboration for Niger Delta to move forward.
“We don’t have any problem with anybody. Let’s be clear on that. This committee has no problem with anybody. But if in the course of our oversight function, we step on toes, it is because it is our duty. What happened in the past happened in the course of our oversight function.
“No commission is perfect because you cannot satisfy everybody. You started well by bringing peace and giving people the opportunity to discuss. I assure you that we have an open mind to collaborate and cooperate in the interest of the Niger Delta region.” Nwaoboshi stated.
The Senate Committee had allocated N16 billion for the establishment of the NDDC permanent headquarters and the chairman expressed his pleasure over the completion of the building.
Senator Nwaoboshi also stated that the Senate was still investigating the case of the NDDC COVID-19 palliative funds adding that it was a fact that the Mr Akwa had not been involved in the scandal since he hadn’t been appointed as the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission until August 2020.
“We are aware that the NDDC Interim Administrator was not part of the NDDC leadership team at the time.”
Akwa in his own part, thanked the Committee for the oversight visit and commended them on their unwavering support and commitment to the NDDC which deemed necessary for the development of the Niger Delta region.
“For about a year we had misunderstanding with some members of the National Assembly. The members are noble men and they had to bend backwards to bury the hatchet in the interest of the region. When I went to the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives to defend the 2020 budget, they cooperated with us. I assured them that we will insist on doing the right thing at the NDDC.” he said.
In a show of goodwill, Mr Akwa took the Committee on a tour of the newly constructed headquarters.