By Emeka Okafor
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has debunked claims that he is under pressure to reconstitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Akpabio also warned that Nigeria cannot afford to record another phase of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
He spoke after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister, who was fielding questions from State House reporters, said everything must be done to avoid crisis as being currently witnessed in some regions in the country.
When asked by reporter if he was under pressure to reconstitute the NDDC board, Akpabio said, “Nobody has put me under pressure to reconstitute the board. I can sponsor any group of people to make a statement but the major thing is peace of the region.
Akpabio, while speaking on the reconstitution of the NNDC board, said the process had been fast-tracked as the names of nominees would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly.
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He, however, insisted that the ongoing field forensic audit of the commission must be completed as the outcome would serve as a guide to the board’s operations.
According to him, the audit report should be turned in by the end of July, adding that, “The most important thing is not just to clean up the mess but how to reposition the NDDC to ensure optimal performance as against the practice in the past where it was just an agency for the purposes of election only. So, the field forensic audit is on course and is progressing very well.”