Shortly before he travelled abroad for his latest medical treatment, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Budget and that of the National Planning to work with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in reconciling all outstanding statutory obligations due to the Commission and fashion out an immediate payment plan.
The Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere, disclosed this when the executive members of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, visited the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Mr. Ekere, who commended the traditional rulers for their continued support for the Commission, said President Buhari gave the directive just hours before his trip to London.
He stated: “I think TROMPCON should commend Mr. President for this remarkable decision. The Federal Government had been owing NDDC cumulatively since inception and for the first time this is being addressed.
“The Federal Government had not met its contributions and we went to the President and drew his attention to that fact. I am happy to inform you that President Buhari immediately directed the Minister of Finance, the Budget Office and the National Planning Commission to meet with NDDC, compare figures and agree on a payment plan.”
The former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state enjoined the royal fathers to pray for the quick recovery of President Buhari, noting that they represented the traditional conscience of the region.
He acknowledged the key roles played by the royal fathers in ensuring peace in the Niger Delta: “TROMPCON is the soul of Niger Delta region.
“I recognize your role in fostering peace in the region. You are very important stakeholders and I acknowledge your support for the NDDC,” he said.
He however, urged them to continue to sensitize their subjects, especially the youths; “warn then against oil theft, vandalism, piracy and all other acts that could cause breach of peace and bring insecurity in the region.
“If there is no peace in the region, investors will be scared away. This is very important, more so now with dwindling oil prices in the international market.”
Mr. Ekere urged them to build a strong alliance and network with the security agencies, as well as assist in monitoring NDDC projects in their various domains, pledging the Commission’s continued support for TROMPCON.
The Chairman of TROMPCON, Eze Akuwueze Ikegwuruka, stated that the traditional rulers and NDDC had enjoyed a cordial relationship that yielded a lot of dividends.
He cited the role played by the traditional rulers in the birth of the Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) Forum, which he noted had encouraged stakeholders’ participation in developing the Niger Delta.
Eze Ikegwuruka added; ”TROMPCON had from inception played critical roles in ensuring peace and security in the various communities in the region”