Forum of Niger Delta Leaders and Critical Stakeholders have again called on President Bola Tinubu to release the backlog of un-remitted funds due to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The concerned stakeholders in a statement issued after a parley in Yenagoa said the release of the funds would help escalate the development of the region. The statement, which was signed by President of MOSIEND, Mr. Kennedy Tonjo-West, and others praised Tinubu for appointing persons of high scale to the board and management of the NDDC and urged the people to lend constructive support to the leadership of the commission in its determined march to make a difference.
The statement reads, “We are again calling on Mr. President to use his good offices (as a lover of the Niger Delta) to take deliberate steps towards releasing in tranches, the huge backlog of arrears of monies owed the commission by the Federal Government of Nigeria. We strongly believe that such a presidential gesture will not only help escalate the development of the region but also further endear Mr. President to the Niger Delta people,” the forum noted. The stakeholders, however, expressed serious dismay at the terrible state of sections of the East-West Road, especially the portions between Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta States, ravaged by the 2022 flood, as well as the Warri-Sapale-Benin Road, Benin-Auchi Road, Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road, among others, across the entire Niger Delta.
They called on the Federal Ministry of Works, and the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to carry out immediate reconstruction works on the several failed sections of “federal roads” in the Niger Delta, to alleviate the suffering of the people. Similarly, they called for the completion of the Ikot Abasi – Eket – Oron section of the East-West Road, and the award of the contract for the Oron – Calabar section of the all-important road.
The stakeholders also reminded the Federal Government, as well as the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission, of the dire need for the Trans-Niger Delta Coastal Road project, adding, “the potential socio-economic benefits of the project cannot be over-emphasised hence funds should be mobilised for the commencement of the project. The Niger Delta region is our home and we have to protect and develop it.” The forum called on Niger Deltans of goodwill, and lovers of the region, to join hands with the leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and other agencies of the Federal government with direct bearing on the Niger Delta region to effectively address the developmental inadequacies of the region.