South-South govs, Akpabio disagree over lack of NDDC board | Ripples Nigeria
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South-South govs, Akpabio disagree over lack of NDDC board

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Governors of the six states in the South-South geopolitical zone are in disagreement with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on the inauguration of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The South-South Governors Forum had after their meeting in Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday night, frowned on the ongoing management structure of the interventionist agency, saying it was shortchanging the region and lacked due process.

The governors advised President Muhammadu Buhari that in the absence of a substantive board for the commission, funds for the NDDC beyond the payment of salaries should be put in an escrow account.

Meanwhile, Akpabio in a media parley in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, ahead of the formal inauguration of the new headquarters of the NDDC scheduled this Thursday in the city, said most of the governors in the zone were running their local government areas with caretaker committees, rather than conducting elections.

READ ALSO: South-South govs advocate 10% host community funding from PIB

Specifically, he said the governors lacked the moral standing to issue such directive to the President on issues of the NDDC.

In a statement released by the Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum and Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, had read the position of the governors at the end of the forum’s meeting, saying it had become a thing of concern that the NDDC, over a year, was run by an Interim Caretaker Committee, and now, by an interim administrator.

He said, “It means that the NDDC is run in such a manner that it is actually not truly beneficial to our people, because there is no stakeholders’ input in the running of the affairs of the NDDC.”

However, Akpabio insisted that the Federal Government had never denied the states of funds despite the governors running their local governments like caretaker committees.
He further said it was abnormal for governors, who belonged to an opposition party to give directives to the President in a ruling party, which he said has performed beyond expectations.

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