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NDDC laments oil theft, begs Rivers traditional rulers to help tackle menace



The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has begged traditional rulers in Rivers State to help the federal government in tackling oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.

The appeal which was made on Wednesday by the Director, Corporate Affairs of NDDC, Pius Ughakpoteni, urged the monarchs to collaborate with security agencies in the fight against the criminals.

Ughakpoteni who represented the Commission’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Alabo Iyaye, during an interactive session with members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt, emphasized the importance and significance of protecting the oil assets in the state.

He noted that bringing a stop to oil theft would consequently result in more revenue allocation to the oil-rich state and Nigeria as a whole.

“We need the traditional institution to assist the government and the security agencies to protect our oil assets. Your majesties, you have very big roles to play to protect our oil assets and projects in the state,” he said.

“If there is no oil theft, there will be more allocation for the Niger Delta. I urge you all to try as much as you can to protect our resources and stop economic sabotage in our region.

“We recognise the importance of the traditional rulers. Addressing this council today is a great privilege. It is like addressing the entire Rivers State through traditional rulers, representing the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.

“The National Assembly has approved over N300 billion in the budget for the Niger Delta and the NDDC board will deploy the money for development projects in the various states.

“I want to assure you that 2024 will be a better year for all of us. The NDDC Board will meet with you again at the appropriate time to exchange ideas,” he added.

Also addressing the traditional rulers, Rivers State representative on the NDDC Board, Tony Okocha, said:

“The NDDC has had a negative trajectory over the years but we assure you that this new NDDC, through the initiatives of the current Board, will bring positive change.

“We have started the process of change which conforms with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. This interactive session is an indication that we have set the ball rolling.”

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