Ebenezer Adurokiya | WarrI
Residents of Idjerhe kingdom, an oil-bearing community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, have called on the newly-constituted board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to revisit all the abandoned projects sponsored by the Commission in the community without further delay.
The community maintained that it could only pass a vote of confidence on the new NDDC Board if, or when, it sees the board in action.
The paramount ruler of the oil and gas rich Idjerhe kingdom, King Obukohwo Monday Whiskey, while addressing journalists in his palace, on behalf of the community recently, maintained that “the issue of vote of confidence in the newly-constituted NDDC Board has not arisen. It is the Board’s action and performance that will say this or otherwise.”
The traditional ruler lamented that no fewer than five abandoned NDDC-sponsored projects, comprising mainly inter-community roads, have been lying fallow in different parts of the kingdom to the detriment of the residents.
“If you go round the kingdom of Idjerhe as we speak, there are about five abandoned NDDC-sponsored projects.
“Between Okwekan and Ugberi where you have the major oil stations, there is an abandoned road project there.
“Between Igbomoja and Ofadi, there is an abandoned road project there. Also, between Boboroku and Agalope, there is a major road project with three bridges that had been abandoned.
“Idjerhe Kingdom is a major producer of the oil minerals feeding the nation as of today. And because NDDC has not had a stable board in the past three years, many things were not properly put in place.
“Now that NDDC has a board, the cart is now on their table. We are using this medium to request that the current leadership of NDDC revisits the abandoned projects in Idjerhe kingdom and put in place plans for new ones so that the benefits that are associated with oil that our kingdom is producing can be visible in the kingdom.
“In view of all the above, therefore, the issue of vote of confidence in the newly-constituted NDDC Board has not arisen. It is the Board’s action and performance that will say this or otherwise,” the monarch said.
The traditional ruler urged the newly-constituted NDDC Board to be seen as hitting the ground running in carrying out the mandates of the interventionist agency.
He also appealed to NDDC’s sister partners, notably the international oil corporations who are helping to fund the commission, to continue to keep their own side of the mandates “as NDDC needs adequate funding to enable it to carry out its many responsibilities, especially in executing the abandoned projects.
“So much money had been kept aside in view of what has happened in the past three years. All those money that have been kept aside for the Board should be released now that the statutory board had been constituted.
“I call on the Federal Government to urgently wade in and release to the current NDDC Board all funds due to the agency so that they can go to sites almost immediately.
“A lot of abandoned projects are lying waste in the various mandate areas due to scarcity of funds which made contractors not to return to sites.
“Releasing funds to the current Board will help the Commission in having the desired result for which the agency was set up,” the monarch said.