By Onozure Dania
yenagoa—Former Security Adviser to the Bayelsa State Government, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh has described as ‘a waste of time’ the smear campaign allegedly being launched by some politicians in the Niger Delta region against the immediate past Minister of Transport, Mr Chibuike Amaechi and the acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof. Nelson Branbaifa.
Kpodoh, in a chat with newsmen in Yenagoa, said, “We don’t have many politicians like Amaechi in the Niger Delta. These Niger Delta governors and politicians should learn from him on his numerous contributions to Rivers and Bayelsa State in terms of political appointments, capacity development, infrastructural development and connecting the region to the national politics.
“if you visit Port Harcourt, Rivers State, you will see his appreciable legacies as a governor. None has done such in Bayelsa. Bayelsa politicians only know about uncompleted projects, lack of continuity on previous administration projects and they take stolen money out of the state with local sense of investment.
“For me, I regret that we don’t have the likes of Amaechi in Bayelsa. Bayelsa would have been turned into hub of completed projects and sensible issue of development. Bayelsa remain the yard of abandoned and uncompleted projects. There are issues of insecurity and total darkness.
“We also commend him for the unconditional support given to the people of the riverine area and the Ijaws of Niger Delta to produce governor of Rivers State in the last election. We thank him for the effort and we are still behind you.”
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On Prof. Branbaifa, Kpodoh noted that in the last few months, the current administration has done noble by delivering on its core mandate of developing the region, adding “This executive management on assumption of office drew up a strategy of intervention to kick start the economy of the region and drive progressive development.’
“As a result, it decided to tackle the mountain of debts owed to contractors. As part of that process, payment had commenced for those owed N20 million and below. Some of these date back to 2008. These debts, were not incurred nor contracts awarded by the current management. Those who have been paid did not need to engage with the commission before being paid. This in fact, is a sea change in contractual responsibility on the part of the commission.
‘The executive management had also cleared all arrears of tuition and maintenance fees owed scholars of the commission studying abroad. In the last four months, at least N2 billion had been remitted. The liability in respect of the scholars dates back to 2018, before this executive management assumed office on January 25, 2019.
“The commission has also prioritised key projects for completion. One of such is the N24 billion, 29 kilometre Ogbia Nembe Road which is due for commissioning. This road creates a land route to Nembe, and also opens up arable lands for economic activity. The management has also embarked on the emergency repair of roads.”
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