A group, Youth leaders of Ethic Nationalities in Niger Delta, has condemned the donation of N1.045 billion by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to oil-producing states to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Irked by this, the group has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to properly investigate the finances of the commission because billions of naira so far released to it by the Federal Government and oil companies were allegedly being mismanaged and diverted.
The National Co-ordinator of the group, Imoh Okoko, said it was worrisome that while several communities in the nine oil producing states lack access to potable drinking water, the intervention agency set up by government to address such issues had announced it would make available N775 million to support these state governments in the fight against COVID-19. This was also in addition to an additional N250 million that would be released by the NDDC to fast-track the establishment of the isolation centres in the 27 senatorial districts across the region.”
Okoko said that it was curious that while the North-East Development Commission has not given a one naira to any of the states under it, the NDDC was already giving out the money meant for the purpose of addressing development deficit in the oil producing states to the governors.
The group said instead of the NDDC management to face primary responsibilities, they want to use the money budgeted for the oil producing states for another purpose, saying: “People in the rural areas are dying of malaria everyday, people are dying on the road everyday because the roads are terrible. If the Federal Government is already tackling COVID-19, NDDC should concentrate and do other things. We want the acting MD to stay away from COVID-19 and allow the President do his job. The governors have allocations and they have monies they can use to fight the disease. He should stop sharing the NDDC funds to the state governors.”
In another development, Special Assistant to Akwa Ibom State Governor on Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Committee, Mr. Sampson Idiong, has donated bags of rice, hand sanitisers and cartons of Indomie to the people of Oruk Anam Local Council to assist them during the stay-at-home period.
In Ward 13, the items were distributed to the people of the area superintended by the Supervisor for Culture and Tourism in Oruk Anam Local Council, Etiutom Ediene.
He urged the people to stay safe and observe the precautionary measures made by the government to ensure the pandemic is curbed. The items were distributed house to house to widows and others in the ward. The people were also sensitised on how and when to use the hand sanitiser and other precautionary measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the area.