President Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) advisory committee with a charge to shun all favour seekers.
“I will advise you very strongly to be focused on your work and don’t subject yourselves to any blackmail or intimidation by anybody in or outside government,” the president said while inaugurating the committee Friday at the council chamber of the presidential villa in Abuja.
The president said his advice became necessary because he had received several reports in the past on how some people within and outside government have been going to the NDDC to blackmail or intimidate members of the board for favours.
The advisory committee, which has the nine governors from the oil producing states as members, has the responsibility of advising the Federal government and the governing board of the commission while also monitoring the activities of the commission with a view to assisting it achieve its objectives.
Mr. Jonathan said the inauguration of the advisory committee is meant to meet the aspirations and yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta in the area of development and growth.
He noted that his administration’s desire to ensure that the NDDC is empowered to carry out its mandate successfully was the main reason for inaugurating the advisory committee.
“Today’s inauguration of the advisory committee of the NDDC is further part of our administration’s holistic measures aimed at strengthening the commission and ensuring that the entire membership of the board function’s with an uncommon sense of duty, responsibility and accountability,” He said.
“As major stakeholders in the development of the Niger Delta, I expect you to bring to bear on the operations of the Board, your wealth of experience and knowledge of the region’s peculiar challenges, that way we can together build the requisite synergy to effectively tackle the human and developmental challenges in the region,” he added.
Mr. Jonathan promised to support the committee in the discharge of their responsibility.
“I expect that this advisory committee will meet at least quarterly especially this first year so that it will enable you have maximum interaction with the NDDC’s board so that you will know exactly what they are doing and advise the federal government appropriately. I will meet with this commission twice a year and during that meeting, the MD and the Chairman of the board will also attend, so that all of us will be on the same platform while considering the issues of the Niger Delta,” the president said.