Gov Wike accuses NDDC of defrauding Rivers
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has accused the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of defrauding the state.
A statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, said the governor spoke on Thursday when members of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, led by its Chairman, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, visited him at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
According to Wike, NDDC was acting like a state on its own, refusing to interface with governors of oil-producing states to strategically develop the Niger Delta.
The statement reads: “We agreed to build a regional hospital called Mother and Child Hospital for N1.7 billion. We were to bring N800 million while NDDC would bring N900 million. The state paid its N800 million and NDDC mobilised the contractor with N400 million of the amount. But it abandoned the contractor and the contractor left site.
“When we came on board, we said no more partnership and asked for a N400 million refund, but that became a problem as politics set in.”
Wike added that the state has gotten a court order to ensure NDDC does not embark on indiscriminate execution of projects without its consent.
He also said despite the inauguration of the commission’s advisory council, it was still sidelining oil-producing states from its affairs.
“Even when we are inaugurated, we were not involved in anything that happens in NDDC, which is most unfortunate.
“NDDC is like a state on its own without working with states; it is so because the states of NDDC are controlled by the opposition party, therefore there is no need to consult with them,” he added.
The governor urged the National Assembly to be resolute in its oversight function by ensuring that the NDDC stopped frittering resources meant for the development of the Niger Delta on building roads in Army barracks, police stations and spending billions to ensure he did not win re-election.
Tunji- Ojo said the visit was predicated on the fact that Wike was a principal stakeholder in the affairs of NDDC.
He promised that the committee would ensure the NDDC worked in synergy with critical stakeholders of the region.
“…I assure you the committee will ensure NDDC works in synergy with critical stakeholders of the region.”