*Vows not to be partisan
*Gov Emmanuel decries lack of federal present in A’Ibom
The new Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Governing Board, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie has said the Board was determined to reposition itself for effective mandate delivery in the region.
The Chairman of the NDDC board gave the assurance while paying courtesy call on the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel during a retreat of the board members and management that ended in the state weekend.
Onochie assured that the Board would be non-partisan in order to serve the interest of the entire region, irrespective of party affiliations.She particularly emphasised that the board would focus on the training of youths in the region to make them employable.
The board chairman appealed to Niger Delta elites to co-operate with the Commission by avoiding undue interference in its work.Receiving the NDDC board chairman, Emmanuel who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo decried lack of a fuel depot and federal presence in Akwa Ibom State despite her status as one of the largest producers of crude oil in the country.
Emmanuel said the growth and overwhelming development witnessed in the state was purely through the efforts of successive governments in the state, as reinforced by the present administration.“There is no federal road in Akwa Ibom State, the federal government has not done anything to support our existence, which it should have done through your Board.
“This state which is one of the largest producers of crude oil has no depot, I repeat, no depot, no federal presence,” the governor lamented.He, however, expressed optimism that with the setting up of the long-awaited board, things would change for the good and the narrative of neglect would be altered through the activities of the newly inaugurated Commission.
He therefore called on the Board to ensure that the vision and mission of its establishment was realised, including ensuring that at least a depot is built in Akwa Ibom state.
On the soothing assurances given by the Board Chairman regarding a new deal in the relationship between NDDC and Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel said: “Since this particular Board comes with a redeeming agenda, I can assure you of the support of my government.
“We will be willing to work with you assiduously, sincerely to ensure that this region that lays the golden egg from which the country thrives, but has nothing to show for it, is taken care of.”