Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that the present leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission  (NDDC) is a fund raising commission for politicians who want to run elections. 

Speaking during a courtesy visit by Mr William Symington, the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria on Wednesday at the Government House Port Harcourt, he said, “There is so much corruption in NDDC because board members are working to amass wealth to contests elections  in their various  states.  The Managing Director of NDDC is amassing wealth to contest the governorship election  in Akwa Ibom State”.

“If the Federal Government wants NDDC to work, why appoint a Managing director who plans to contest  the governorship election of his state? Why not  appoint  a technocrat?” Governor Wike asked.

Governor Wike said  the commission’s focus on politics, rather  than the development of Niger Delta, has made it a cesspit of corruption where resources  are diverted to fund political projects.

He said: “NDDC is a fund raising commission for politicians who want to run for elections.  The rerun elections  in Rivers State  were  funded by the NDDC  for the APC. The way NDDC is structured, it will not work.

The governor said that contrary to the claim  by the NDDC that the Rivers State Government is not cooperating with it, the government  in 2016 wrote the commission  on projects  that would be beneficial to the state  He said that the NDDC  failed to act on the list.

He informed  the  United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria that the NDDC reneged on its agreement with the Rivers State Government on the Mother and Child Hospital, even after the State Government  had paid its counterpart fund of N800million, while the NDDC  refused to pay any kobo from its N900million contribution. He said the State Government has taken over the construction of the hospital.

The governor reiterated his call on the United States Government to establish a Visa Office  in Port Harcourt  to cater for the South-South and South-East.

Governor Wike urged the Government of the United States of America to consider the capital of  the South-South, where  the nation’s resources are generated for  a Visa Office.

“If you open the Visa Office in Port Harcourt, you would have created a plethora of opportunities  for the people of the region”, the governor said.

He said that his administration is interested in building  partnerships  with the United States of America, especially in the area of commercial agriculture, oil and gas and industrailization.

He said: “We are willing to partner  with the American government  in attracting investments  to the state. Investments attract employment which reduces  youth restiveness”.
Speaking further, Governor Wike called for the clean up of Ogoni land, pointing out that the flag off was politically  motivated due to the rerun elections at the time.
The governor said all tiers of government should be focused on governance, instead dwelling on 2019.
Earlier, the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr William Symington said that  the focus of his visit was to interract with the people of the state and learn about the state.

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