The minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has disclosed that his office is open to receiving first-hand information from the members of communities on the status of projects in their areas.
Usani stated this while receiving on a courtesy call, the Supreme Council of Oil and Gas Producing Areas of Imo State led by Chief Esom Goddy Obodo in Abuja, on Tuesday.
“We have found a lot of discrepancies in projects awarded by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Imo state”, he reiterated.
He added that those sent to monitor various projects failed to carryout proper documentation of the progress or flaws of the contractors in the state.
The minister lamented that the people in the oil and gas producing areas suffer more deprivations than people in other areas of Imo state, stressing that such areas deserved to be considered for project allocations.
Furthermore, the minister reiterated that until November 2016, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been operating independently from the Ministry of Niger Delta affairs, adding that the process of getting approval for the auditing of all projects of the commission had begun.
The minister who stated that Imo state is always in the preference point of the Ministry, said when project audit is completed, contractors that are found wanting would either be asked to return to sites or face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC).
Earlier, the leader of the delegation of the Supreme Council of Oil and Gas Producing Areas of Imo State, Chief Esom Goddy Obodo said the people of Ohaji/ Egbema/ Oguta local government areas of Imo state have been deprived of quality infrastructures as road networks, hospital/ health centers, electricity and employment opportunities for their teeming graduates, which accounted for youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region over the years.
Chief Obodo blamed the federal and state governments, oil companies, multinational corporations, NDDC and other related agencies for the woes of the areas. He called for allocation of people-oriented projects in the oil-producing areas of the state.
“We believe in the spirit and letter of change of the current APC-led Federal Government, We affirm that the mantra is for us who have been deprived for decades”, he emphasized.
While thanking the Honorable Minister for his right standing, the council beckoned on the minister to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the federal government addressed their worries.
Director (Press & PR)
10th May, 2017.