The Federal Government has directed the Federal Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning to liaise with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to reconcile outstanding statutory obligations and agree on a payment plan for the commission.
Mr Ibitoye Abosede, the Director of Corporate Affairs of the commission said this in a statement on Wednesday.
Abosede said the Managing Director of the commission, Mr Nsima Ekere said this when the executive members of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON), visited the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Ekere, who commended the traditional rulers for their continued support for the Commission, said President Buhari gave the directive in May.
“I think TROMPCON should commend Mr President for this remarkable decision. The Federal Government had been owing NDDC cumulatively since inception and for the first time this is being addressed.
“The Federal Government had not met its contributions and we went to the President and drew his attention to that fact.
“I am happy to inform you that President Buhari immediately directed the Ministers of Finance, the Budget and the National Planning to meet with NDDC, compare figures and agree on a payment plan,”
The NDDC boss asked the royal fathers to pray for the speedy recovery of President Buhari, noting that they represented the traditional conscience of the region.
“TROMPCON is the soul of Niger Delta region,’’ he said.
He acknowledged the key roles played by the royal fathers in ensuring peace in the region, adding “I recognise your role in fostering peace in the region. You are very important stakeholders and I acknowledge your support for the NDDC’’.
He urged them to continue to sensitise their subjects, especially the young ones, while warning them against oil theft, vandalism, piracy and all other acts that could cause a breach of peace and insecurity in the region.
“If there is no peace in the region, investors will be scared away. This is very important, more so now with dwindling oil prices in the international market.”
Ekere urged them to build a strong alliance and network with the security agencies, as well as assist in monitoring NDDC projects in their various domains, pledging the Commission’s continued support for TROMPCON.
The Chairman of TROMPCON, Eze Akuwueze Ikegwuruka, stated that the traditional rulers and NDDC had enjoyed a cordial relationship that had yielded a lot of dividends.
Ikeguruka cited the role played by the traditional rulers in the birth of the Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) Forum, which he noted had encouraged stakeholders’ participation in developing the Niger Delta.
He said that TROMPCON had since its inception played critical roles in ensuring peace and security in the various communities in the region.