The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development
Commission, NDDC, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), has commended
communities in the Ekpeye Ethnic Nationality in Rivers State for embracing
dialogue in their quest for development.
Senator Ndoma-Egba was speaking when a delegation of Ekpeye Elites, led by
Dr Chigbo Sam-Eligwe, paid him a courtesy visit at the NDDC headquarters in
Port Harcourt.
The NDDC Chairman observed that communities in the Ekpeye nation had been
peaceful, shunning violent agitations which had ensured a safe environment
for the exploration and exploitation of oil resources in the area.
He said:” There has been no incidence of breaches on oil facilities. This
is very remarkable and we must applaud the Ekpeye nation for that. Continue
to opt for dialogue because the current board and management of the NDDC
are inclined to a new kind of militancy. We advocate militancy for peace
and development, because without peace, development will suffer.”
Senator Ndoma-Egba added: “We need peace in the Niger Delta region for the
much needed development. I want to commend the Ekpeye nation for setting
the example and we commend this to every other community in the region.”
The NDDC Chairman remarked that considering the enormous contributions of
Ekpeye nation to the national economy and wealth, the people deserved far
more attention than they were getting.
He, therefore, assured the Ekpeye nation that the neglect they had suffered
in the past would now be history, stating that the anomaly would be
corrected and their concerns would be accommodated in the 2019 budget of
the NDDC.
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the Ekpeye delegation, Dr Sam-Eligwe,
observed that the Ekpeye Nation was contributing immensely to the oil and
gas wealth of Nigeria and deserved due recognition and patronage by NDDC.
He noted that Ekpeye Nation was the third largest oil and gas producing
area in Rivers State, with production capacity of about 15 per cent of the
total oil and gas revenue of Nigeria, with several pipelines conveying
crude oil and gas traversing Ekpeye land and communities.
He lamented that the Ekpeye Nation appeared to have been neglected in the
NDDC budget. According to him: “This abject neglect is glaringly reflected
in the current NDDC budget, where out of a list of about 900 projects in
the mandate states, only one paltry and insignificant project of
construction and equipping of a science laboratory of the community
secondary school, Edeoha, Ahoada East Local Government Area was included.”
He appealed for more infrastructural projects such as rural
electrification, roads and bridges. He also called attention to the plight
of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) who, he said, had been rendered
homeless and had lost their sources of livelihood due to the damages
occasioned by the flood on their farms, homes and properties.
*Ibitoye Abosede, Ph.D*
Director, Corporate Affairs
January 16, 2019.