“About two months ago, the Vice- President on my behalf commissioned the Special Protections Unit Base 6 Barracks in Omagwa, Rivers State, built and donated by the Niger Delta Development Commission to the Nigeria Police Force. It was an important milestone of this administration for two reasons
“This singular intervention demonstrates that NDDC understands the importance of government’s effort at improving the lives and livelihoods of our police officers, in line with my directive that building of barracks for men and women of the police force should be done in collaboration with the Special Housing effort of the Family Home funds.”
“Today, we are here, again, to commission another important project completed by the NDDC in 2021. When I directed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to institute a forensic audit of the Commission, after many representations by major stakeholders in the Niger Delta, I had also directed that all viable projects which had been abandoned, but which would impact positively on the lives and livelihoods of the people, be immediately revived and completed.
“This ultramodern hostel complex, built and donated to the University of Uyo by NDDC, renews our confidence that the forensic audit, which has been completed and currently being reviewed for necessary action, had achieved one of its core objectives. That objective is to rebuild the NDDC into an agency that is well equipped and better placed to facilitate sustainable regional development in a transparent and impactful way.
“Across many of our public universities and institutions of higher learning our children face accommodation challenges. While private investors are taking advantage of this gap to provide accommodation, unfortunately this often harshly tasks the resources of parents and guardians.
“This prototype university hostel consists of 1,050 bed spaces, 525 each for males and females, and is furnished to meet the needs of a university student. The complex also boasts of significant hard and soft infrastructure to ensure its sustainability and durability.
“The completion of this structure is equally in recognition of the importance government attaches to providing quality housing and improved education for all Nigerians.
” Significant part of this success story is that it could easily not have happened. The contract for this hostel was awarded as far back as 2004. It was one of many projects abandoned across the Niger Delta region, but which I directed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to expeditiously complete and put to use.
“The Niger Delta Development Commission needs to demonstrate that it can achieve the objectives it was conceived for and make its impact felt all over the Niger Delta Region. The lives of the people of the Niger Delta could be so much better, if the funding received by this commission since its inception, in Billions of Naira over the last 20 years, have been judiciously deployed in service of the people.
“The serial abuse, lack of delivery and what had become an entrenched institutional decay, was the reason why I called for the Forensic Audit.
“Therefore, going forward we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region and those found culpable shall face the Law.
” Consequently, I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, and to ensure this is done transparently and according to laid down procedure and process.
“On this note, it is my singular honour and privilege to commission this complex, for the accommodation of students at the University of Uyo. Let me charge you to ensure that this edifice is properly maintained, for the benefit of the current students, who are the immediate beneficiaries, as well as those who will come after. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you very much and God bless you all.”