- A former MP has stated that ethnic oil policy contributes to underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region
- Dr. Emmanuel Akpanobong, a former member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, made the claim while interacting with reporters.
- He affirmed that the contracts should be given to those who deserve it in the region regardless of where they come from
oops – A former member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and founder of St. Athanasius Hospital, Dr. Emmanuel Akpanobong has pointed to ethnic oil politics as a contributing factor to underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region.
Dr. Akpanobong made this observation while hosting journalists from the region recently for an interview session in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
According to him, the representatives of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) are generally not selected on the ideal basis of experience and knowledge, but rather on the sentiment of someone who claims to have oil in their backyard. .
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Referring to his personal experience, he said:
“In Akwa Ibom state here, I have been at the forefront of the fight for the rights of people as a result of oil production and everything related to it.
“But, every time we want to look at benefits and personalities to be key players in benefit arrangements, they say, yikes! Dr. Akpanobong, I think it’s from Ikono. your place is not an oil producer. They would push me aside.”
When asked about how the wrong approaches to contractor selection have impeded development in the region, he said contracts should be awarded to companies that meet standard criteria for such work, rather than committing to accommodate or sponsor political supporters.
“The contract is a business. Establish objective criteria for the selection of contractors. If you say companies must have registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, they must have experience doing that sort of thing, anyone who qualifies should get the job!
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“So if you want to go through the standard procedure and open the job, then whether it’s a qualifying Nigerian or foreign company, they should get the job. But if the main goal is to satisfy your fans, then performance is secondary.
He added that for the previous jobs that were done badly, the government is primarily to blame because according to him:
“Every road design has details, in terms of thickness; in terms of width; as for what to put on and there is intermittent supervision from the ministry to test after paving it, someone would come and approve.
“What you call the tar, the drainage, the bandaging, the tucking in of the edges; someone would approve
“For example, during the last flood, you see between a crowder and the other place; you just saw the tar road: floating water. Someone who should have known a sand fill site needed more compacting, thickening, whatever.”
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Akpanobong also defended the redesign of the east-west highway, saying that the solution for flood-affected areas of the highway is to raise it above sea level, adding that sand filling done as a remedial measure is not what better.
On the recently publicized achievements of the Buhari administration in terms of projects carried out in the region, the former state legislator said that while the record seems great and commendable, there are still many parts of the region that do not yet have such benefits.
Buhari has repositioned NDDC for effective service, says Omehia
Meanwhile, Nzerem Omehia, a public affairs analyst, has stated that the scorecard of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the Niger Delta region has been successful.
Omehia said that the recent comments by Niger Delta Affairs Minister Mr. Umana Okon Umana in Abuja at the 20th edition of the Buhari Scorecard Series (2015-2023), indicate that the president has an interest particularly in the development of oil-rich countries. region.
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In an article seen by legit.ng On Monday, December 19, Omehia further stated that the president had repositioned the ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to fulfill their core mandates effectively.
Niger Delta stakeholders react as President Buhari reconstitutes NDDC board
In a related development, a citizen-led anti-sabotage organization under the aegis of The Natives has praised Chairman Buhari for reconstituting the NDDC board.
The natives stated that the reconstitution of the NDDC board marks a new beginning for the Niger Delta region.
Leader of the group, Br. Smart Edwards urged the people of the Niger Delta to reciprocate Buhari’s good gesture by supporting the new board and NDDC CEO nominee, Chief Sam Ogbuku.