* Passes vote of confidence on Buhari, Akpabio
* Wants East-West Road contract to be added to NDDC budget
By Gladys Nweke
A group has hailed the Minister of Niger Delta, Chief Godswill Akpabio, for revealing an annual scam involving payment of N500Bn for fictitious contract called Water Hyacinth project. The group also said it was Akpabio that halted payment of N300m to some people.
The group also said Akpabio revealed the secret behind the washed up fish in the Niger Delta, saying it was being planted to discredit the present administration. The group rather wants the world to commend both the president and the minister.
A group known as the Niger Delta Change Ambassadors which represents youths in the region has passed a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio.
A statement issued by the group in the week commended the minister for his proactive efforts at curbing corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
This is even as the group called on President Buhari to remove the East-West Road budget from Sovereign Wealth Fund and return it to Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to enable sections 1-4 to be completed to ease the suffering of the people of Niger Delta region.
The statement was jointly signed by Comr. Goodlive Elee, National Coordinator, and Hon. Derefaka Ajubo, National Secretary, but did not explain how such change would actually enhance faster execution.
The group pledged their allegiance to Buhari and Akpabio, describing the minister as a transparent leader whose quest to stop corruption had brought him undue criticism.
He said that some of the corruption cases that were pointed out by Akpabio included payment of N300m annually as rent for the past 23 years for the NDDC temporal Headquarters building.
Others are payment of N500Bn a year on Water Hyacinth which was always awarded to their cronies, refusal of NDDC directors to go on leave so as to cover up their fraudulent tracks, etc.
The group also commended the minister for capturing youth empowerment and other jobs meant for the youth in the budget since 2019 when he was the senate minority leader.
They said Akpabio is the first minister to visit NDDC headquarters to address the staff to refrain from misconduct and fraud, he is the first minister to carry out verification before payment and stop upfront payment on fictitious contract without verification where contracts are not inflated
Mr President should applaud the minister for revealing that certain power brokers in NDDC are contracting their cronies to display dead fishes along the shores of Niger Delta all to discredit the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
We also commended the MD for his co-operation with the Minister since the forensic audit.