The Federal Government has begun the refund of over N1.3 trillion owed the Niger Delta Development Commission since inception.
Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, Acting Managing Director of the commission, made this known in a statement by the commission’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Ibitoye Abosede, on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
Brambaifa spoke during his inaugural meeting of the new management of the commission, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari had love for the Niger Delta region.
He said: “The new management team is response to the growing unhappiness in the region over government’s commitment to developing the region and improving the living conditions of the people.
“The Federal Government has indeed begun refunding over N1.3 trillion owed the commission since inception.
“The Niger Delta had suffered enough and President Buhari recognised this and has taken prompt action to redress the situation and reassure the people on government’s commitment to their welfare.”
Brambaifa, whose appointment was announced by Buhari on Friday, said the present administration had ensured the commission’s statutory financial obligations were paid in full.
He said: “President Buhari also ensured that all other statutory contributors to the funding of NDDC met their obligations.
“Also, the president also worked to restore peace and security in the region by tackling all grievances of the people.
“The appointment of the management team is another step in the effort to offer hope to the Niger Delta people and restore their confidence and faith.”
The NDDC boss said that management would respect and implement the commission’s mandate of ensuring sustainable development of the region.
He noted that more efforts would be made to ensure a socially stable; economically prosperous; politically peaceful and ecologically regenerative Niger Delta.
According to him, the task of developing the Niger Delta is too important to be toyed with as well as too compelling to waste time on.
He said: “Therefore, we urge all stakeholders in the Niger Delta to join hands with members of the new executive management to ensure a smooth transition and contribute to immediate delivery of Mr President’s mandate.
“We also urge members of staff of NDDC to embrace teamwork. I will change NDDC and take it to the next level.”