NDDC HAS DEVIATED FROM ITS CORE MANDATE, GOV WIKE TELLS US AMBASSADOR

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…SAYS MD’S FOCUS IS ON AKS GUBER ASPIRATION

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that the present leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is a fund raising commission for politicians who want to run elections.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by Mr William Symington, the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria on Wednesday at the Government House Port Harcourt, he said, “There is so much corruption in NDDC because board members are working to amass wealth to contests elections in their various states. The Managing Director of NDDC is amassing wealth to contest the governorship election in Akwa Ibom State “.

“If the Federal Government wants NDDC to work, why appoint a Managing director who plans to contest the governorship election of his state? Why not appoint a technocrat?” Governor Wike asked.

Governor Wike said the commission’s focus on politics, rather than the development of Niger Delta, has made it a cesspit of corruption where resources are diverted to fund political projects.

He said: “NDDC is a fund raising commission for politicians who want to run for elections. The rerun elections in Rivers State were funded by the NDDC for the APC. The way NDDC is structured, it will not work.

The governor said that contrary to the claim by the NDDC that the Rivers State Government is not cooperating with it, the government in 2016 wrote the commission on projects that would be beneficial to the state He said that the NDDC failed to act on the list

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He informed the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria that the NDDC reneged on its agreement with the Rivers State Government on the Mother and Child Hospital, even after the State Government had paid its counterpart fund of N800million, while the NDDC refused to pay any kobo from its N900million contribution. He said the State Government has taken over the construction of the hospital.

The governor reiterated his call on the United States Government to establish a Visa Office in Port Harcourt to cater for the South-South and South-East .

Governor Wike urged the Government of the United States of America to consider the capital of the South-South, where the nation’s resources are generated for a Visa Office.

“If you open the Visa Office in Port Harcourt, you would have created a plethora of opportunities for the people of the region”, the governor said.

He said that his administration is interested in building partnerships with the United States of America, especially in the area of commercial agriculture, oil and gas and industrailization .

He said: “We are willing to partner with the American government in attracting investments to the state. Investments attract employment which reduces youth restiveness”.

Speaking further, Governor Wike called for the clean up of Ogoni land, pointing out that the flag off was politically motivated due to the rerun elections at the time.

The governor said all tiers of government should be focused on governance, instead dwelling on 2019.

Earlier, the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr William Symington said that the focus of his visit was to interract with the people of the state and learn about the state.

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