Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has urged the leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission to revisit the original intentions for the setting up of the organisation.
Uzodimma gave the advice when he received the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua.
This was contained in a statement released on Saturday in Owerri by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku.
Uzodimma noted that the past NDDC leadership resorted to maintenance approach to solving problems affecting the member-states, as opposed to projects conception and implementation.
He expressed regrets that in the area of interventions, some of the states such as Imo, as a critical stakeholder in oil and gas sector, had not been treated fairly.
According to him, during the COVID-19 pandemic when the commission was expected to come to the aid of the state, it was nowhere to be seen though it featured prominently in the other NDDC states.
He urged Audu-Ohwavboua that in the commission’s emergency programme, ahead of the Yuletide, there was the need to intervene immediately in the Elele-Owerri corridor of the old Owerri-Port Harcourt Road, as well as the Mgbidi-Awomama axis of Owerri-Onitsha Road.
He also solicited the intervention of the NDDC in the flood-ravaged communities of Imo State such as Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta, as a way of further cushioning the effects of their hardships.
He expressed delight over the appointment of Audu-Ohwavboua, describing him as “able, capable and possessing a good knowledge of the terrain”.
He urged him to bring his wealth of experience to bear in solving the problems of the NDDC, an organisation he described as a “child of circumstance set up to alleviate the sufferings of the oil producing states.
“What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Go back to the original intention of setting up the commission so that the impact will be felt by our people.
“We have observed marginalisation.
“None of the oil producing states should be marginalised.
“We must get justice, we must get equity, we must get even distribution of amenities.
“You should address marginalisation in the NDDC.
“Each time they say we are a member, why is intervention not coming to Imo but going to other states?
“Repair Elele to Owerri Road and repair the bad sections from Mgbidi to Awommama under your emergency programme.”
Speaking, Audu-Ohwavboua said it was an auspicious moment to be in Imo State, especially with the ravaging floods.
He agreed with the governor that there were problems yet unsolved.
He assured the governor that under his leadership, such problems would be effectively addressed.
He said: “We are technocrats.
“We don’t make promises we are not ready to honour.
“Rest assured that the marginalisation has ended.”
The high point of the visit was the handing over of some drugs to the governor for people affected by the recent flooding of some riverine areas.