Hope Uzodimma, Governor of Imo, called on the leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to address the issue of marginalization against the state.
Uzodinma spoke when he received Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, Acting Director General of NDDC.
According to a statement by Oguwike Nwachuku, the governor’s chief press secretary, Uzodinma urged the commission to review why the NDDC was created.
The governor noted that former NDDC leaders used a maintenance approach to address issues affecting member states, as opposed to designing and implementing projects.
He said Imo, as a key stakeholder in the oil and gas sector, had not been treated fairly.
According to him, when the commission was to come to the aid of the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was nowhere to be found even though it featured prominently in other NDDC states.
Uzodinma asked the commission to intervene immediately in the Elele-Owerri corridor of the old Owerri-Port Harcourt road, as well as on the Mgbidi-Awomama axis of the Owerri-Onitsha road, upstream of the Yuletide.
He also requested the intervention of the NDDC in the flood-ravaged communities of Imo, such as Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta, to further cushion the effects of the flood on the population.
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Go back to the original intention of establishing the commission so that the impact will be felt by our people,” Uzodinma said.
“We observed a marginalization. None of the oil-producing states should be marginalized. We gotta get justice, we gotta get fairness, we gotta get a fair distribution of amenities. You should address marginalization in the NDDC.
“Whenever they say we are members, why is the intervention not coming to Imo but going to other states? Fix Elele to Owerri Road and fix bad stretches from Mgbidi to Awommama as part of your emergency program.
The Governor welcomed the appointment of Audu-Ohwavboua as Acting Managing Director of NNDC, adding that he is “capable, capable and possessing good knowledge of the terrain”.
He urged him to put his rich experience to work in solving NDDC problems.
For his part, Audu-Ohwavboua agreed with the governor that there were still unresolved issues within the commission.
He assured the governor, however, that his leadership would address the issues.
“We are technocrats. We don’t make promises we’re not prepared to keep. Rest assured that the marginalization has ended. he said.