By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
25 years after the groundbreaking ceremony, President Muhammadu Buhari has officially opened the headquarters of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
President Buhari who virtually commissioned the building from the Council Chamber of the State House on Thursday, said the land was acquired by the then Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in 1996, and was abandoned after a series of design amendments.
He commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, for ensuring the completion of the complex and urged the management to utilize money for the rented office accommodation for other projects.
“In 2015, as part of our Administration’s cardinal objectives to kill corruption, some critical reforms were embarked upon, part of which was a holistic reform of the NDDC for greater service delivery for the people of the region.
“To achieve this, I reassigned the supervision of the NDDC to the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for administrative efficiency.
“Second, was the appointment of Forensic Auditors to review the operations of the Commission from inception to 2019 and to ensure that the appropriations made to the NDDC are commensurate with what is on the ground.
“I, therefore, use this opportunity to commend the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for providing the required leadership that saw to the completion of this edifice.
“Today, we are handing over to the people of Niger Delta, a befitting Head Office Complex for present and future use. Consequently, huge yearly rentals would now be saved and deployed to other areas of needs in the region,” Buhari said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, noted that the completion of the NDDC building signaled the President’s commitment to the development of the oil-producing region and putting an end to corruption in the agency.
“You will be remembered by this gesture, and generations will never forget you,” he said of the president.