Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, yesterday, disclosed that the interim reports from the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has uncovered about 12,128 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta.
Lamenting that the 12, 128 projects have no specific ownership attached to them, he revealed that this was against the 9,080 projects listed for consideration in the verification process.
Akpabio made this known when Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, visited him in Abuja. He said: “Most of the abandoned projects have become the abode of criminals. Projects were embarked on without consultations.
“There was no initial coordination. So, as part of its mandate, the ministry has adopted a programme called the Strategic Implementation Work Plan, which will coordinate activities of development partners and stakeholders to prevent duplication of projects in the region.”
Responding, Mohammed stated that issues bordering on the Niger Delta region were peculiar to the UN and that it would do everything within UN programmes to address all issues of disillusionment in people’s expectation.
She commended the Federal Government and the ministry for the way they have handled the Niger Delta affairs and moves to sanitise the NDDC.
Mohammed stressed the need to maintain peace and stability in the region, insisting that without peace, there would not be any meaningful development, especially when the aspirations and rights of the people were not recognised.
On his part, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Babayo Ardo, stated that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was charged with the responsibility of ensuring development programmes and supervision of the NDDC.
He added that as part of its mandate over the years, the ministry had provided infrastructure and impactful programmes for youths and women, and that it was willing to collaborate with the UN system to actualise its programmes aimed at improving the living standards and well being of Nigerians and the Niger Delta people.