The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the completion of about 9,000 abandoned projects across the Niger Delta region.
The minister announced that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) would be constructing nine housing estates in the region while about 1,600 people had been empowered in the last 100 days.
“We briefed the council today of the number of people that have so far been empowered in the first hundred days of coming into office.
“Over 1,600 Niger Deltans have been empowered with different skills, through the skills acquisition programme.
“We are building one skills acquisition centre per state in the region and many of them are at 80 to 90 per cent completion levels.
“Each encompasses about 38 buildings, so it’s almost like a technical college, with accommodation and other facilities.
“We are also doing about nine housing estates in the region from the Ministry’s perspective, to also add value to the affordable housing of the federal government’s policy,’’ he said.
According to him, the ministry is engaging the various communities in the Niger Delta region to ensure safety of lives and property and at the same time ensure the growth of the region.
He said the ministry was carrying out remediation works in the affected states in the region.
He revealed that the ministry was also supervising the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission for optimal result, saying the ministry was at the verge of concluding the due process to commence the forensic audit of the NDDC.
“We have got the Bureau of Public Procurement’s ‘No Objection’ and we have also been able to get the concurrence of the Auditor-General of the Federation’s office and lead consultants have come on board.
“At the moment we are trying to bring out the forensic auditors. Each state of the Niger Delta is a lot, we have nine lots in that section and then the headquarters is also a lot, which makes it ten.
“We have already set up centres in the ten locations for verification, evaluation and documentation of all IPCs and all award letters for contracts so that we’ll know the contingent and actual liabilities of the NDDC.
“At the end of the exercise, the federal government hopes to have a bankable NDDC, where the balance sheet can go to the bank and be accepted and bring value in terms of industrialization to the region,’’ he said.