The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has given contractors handling its projects 30 days to return to site and complete the projects or face prosecution.
The Managing Director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, stated this following an Inter-Ministerial meeting in Abuja chaired by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The meeting, which took place over the weekend, had in attendance Ministers of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Environment, Niger Delta, Information and Culture, as well as the Presidential Amnesty Office.
It reviewed the 20-Point Agenda of the Petroleum Ministry with regards to the Niger Delta, as well as the Amnesty Programme and the 16-point demand of the Pan Niger Delta Forum.
Mr Ekere said “a list of such contractors is being compiled in all the nine NDDC states and defaulters would be prosecuted”.
He stressed the need to fast-track the ongoing audit of projects awarded in the Niger Delta region, in line with government directives.
“It is important for our contractors to realise that it can’t be business as usual. President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change how government business is conducted and everyone must wake up to that reality.
“But beyond that is the fact that we owe the Niger Delta region and our people the duty to implement and complete these projects, in order to facilitate sustainable regional development.
“This is a necessary process to ensure that things are done properly, how they ought to be done and when they ought to be done. It is important to consolidate the agenda with that of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as the blueprint of the State Governments, the Amnesty Office and the NDDC Master Plan, in order to roll them into one workable plan.
“We are all going to initiate quick-win projects that will give a sense of involvement to government’s approach to handling issues that will impact the people. We will organise frequent town hall meetings with all stakeholders and collaborate in building sustainable economic models for the communities of the Niger Delta,” Ekere said.
The NDDC boss also emphasised the need for the Commission to work with the Ministry of Environment and NOSREA, to facilitate the clean-up exercise in affected areas of oil spill, work on a time frame and encourage IOCs to provide more power to their host communities beyond working with Electricity Distribution Companies.
“Satellite mapping will be used to identify polluted areas in the Niger Delta and a comprehensive plan of action adopted to ensure regional clean-up. This is important because we must ensure that we safeguard our environment and give our people the opportunity and enabling environment to pursue our predominant traditional livelihoods.
“Agriculture and aquaculture are key to facilitating sustainable development in the region, particularly as we seek alternate productive socio-economic activities beyond oil and gas,” he said.