Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has alleged that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has derailed from the motives for which it was set up.
Uzodimma, who spoke when the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Eng. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, led a team of his top management staff on a courtesy call on him at at Government House, Owerri, decried what he described as marginalisation in the commission and appealed to the new leadership to revisit the original intention for setting up of the Commission.
Governor Uzodimma said over the years, past NDDC leadership resorted to maintenance approach to solving problems affecting the member states as opposed to projects conception and implementation.
He said from the Act establishing the Commission, it is evident that many things have been left unaccomplished.
He expressed regret that even in the area of interventions, some of the states like Imo as a critical stakeholder in the oil and gas sector, has not been treated fairly.
The Governor noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic era when the Commission was expected to come to the aid of the State, it was nowhere to be seen not withstanding that it featured prominently in other NDDC states.
He reminded NDDC of the need to intervene immediately on the Elele-Owerri corridor of old Owerri-Port Harcourt road as well as on the Mgbidi-Awomama axis of Owerri-Onitsha road in his emergency programme ahead of yuletide as both corridors are key to major movements involving indigenes of the state and other road users.
The Governor also solicited the intervention of the NDDC in the flood-ravaged communities of Imo such as Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta local government areas as a way of further cushioning the effects of their hardship.
He said, “Each time they say we are a member, why is intervention not coming to Imo State, but going to other states? Repair Elele to Owerri road and also repair the bad sections from Mgbidi to Awommama under your emergency programme.”
In his address, the Acting Managing Director said it was an “auspicious moment to be in Imo State at this time to present drugs with the flood disaster in some riverine communities in Imo State.”
He agreed with the Governor that there are problems but reassured him that he will start from the onset to solve the problems facing the Commission.
“We are technocrats. We don’t make promises we are not ready to honour. Be rest assured that the marginalisation has ended.”
The high point of the visit was the handing over of the drugs to the governor.