The attention of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been drawn to a publication in an online publication, Sahara Weekly, of Tuesday, January 24, 2023, entitled: “NDDC chairperson aborts 25biliion payment as FG sets to domicile the commission at SGF office.”
According to the story credited to an unnamed source: “The new Managing Director was alleged to have colluded with a Governor of one the South East States to pay the sum of 25 Billion to the State Ministry of Works to pursue political agenda which was disguised as funding for projects to be carried out in collaboration with the Commission.”
The spurious story further alleged that “Lauretta Onochie has been confirmed as the Executive Chairman of the board of the NDDC in a letter from the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the NDDC has been moved back to the Office of the SGF from the Ministry of Niger Delta to ensure accountability.”
These bogus stories are being spread by enemies of the Niger Delta region, who do not want the new Board and Management of the NDDC to succeed. These concocted stories are meant to sow a seed of discord among members of the Board who are united in their resolve to make a difference in the Niger Delta region.
Our initial reaction was to ignore the baseless lies, but we also realise that it is important to put the records straight by stating the facts as they are. The truth is that the Board and Management of the NDDC are now more than ever united, especially after the three-day Retreat anchored on “Making a Difference,” which was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
What is playing out smacks of desperation of the highest order. In fact, it is undisguised blackmail by some persons and groups to instigate rancor in the NDDC and subsequently feast from the confusion that will attend their contrived disorder.
We are fully aware of an increasing need to be seen to be more accountable to the public and to conduct our affairs in a more transparent manner.
Entrenching the tenets of accountability and transparency in our activities forms part of the thrust of the new leadership, as espoused by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, the Chairman of the NDDC Board, Mrs. Onochie and the Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku.
After our retreat in Uyo, we are now more than ever before, determined to work with new ideas to achieve the objective of fast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region.
Members of the public should disregard the false story published online. Once again, we assure our stakeholders that the NDDC Governing Board will neither be distracted nor divided in its resolve to do things differently and make a difference in the Niger Delta region.