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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it will do everything possible to resettle the over two million persons displaced by flood in the Niger Delta region.
Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the commission’s Executive Director of Project gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, 280 communities in the region were completely submerged by flood, adding that the communities had nothing going on for now.
He listed the most affected states in the region to include Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia, saying that areas below sea level in the states were mostly affected.
Ojougboh stressed that the NDDC could no longer sit and watch while the affected persons went through pains.
He added that the commission was working to address the issue by doing everything humanly possible to ensure that persons in the affected communities were resettled and sent back to their homes.
“You know that the rains had just stopped and the flood is receding, most of the indigenes of Niger Delta are now in Internally Displaced Persons camps (IDP) and will have to go back home.
“When they get home, they will find their homes occupied by dangerous insects and reptiles, including snakes, and their properties would have been damaged.
“So we have to find a way of resettling them, these are the things the commission is looking at now.
“We are not going to stop there, we most project into the future and find out how we can stop this catastrophe from happening every year, because every year, it is the same story and these are the issues in the Niger Delta.
Ojougboh said the commission had started interfacing with the Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that things were done according to statuesque, adding that the commission was now more focused to deliver on its mandate.
Speaking on development in the commission, Ojougboh said it was currently going through reformation to ensure more participation between it and the ministry.
He added that the commission had stabilised and functioning properly with a defined focus on delivering on its mandate.
He further added that each department of the commission was now well repositioned for greater delivery of service to the Niger Delta people.
He said most of the issues confronting the commission were being resolved, adding that it was now stable.
Ojougboh further added that the commission was presently looking at how it would honour past obligations and to identify genuine obligations.
This, he said, was what the commission was presently working on, and how it could ameliorate the hardship of the people of Niger Delta region.
According to him, the function of the commission and the Ministry of Works and Housing are intertwined, adding that it will work with the ministry to deliver its mandate.
He, however, noted that one of the commission’s challenges was conflict between tiers of government with regards to contract award for road construction in parts of the country.
“You go to some states, you find out that contract that had been awarded by the NDDC is also awarded by the state and Local Government.
“And you go to some places, you find out that the NDDC is on a road, and the Ministry of Works and Housing is also on the same road.
“We need to know where everybody is, so we don’t pay contractors twice for jobs that had been done. These are the areas where the ministry and the commission must cooperate and collaborate,” he said.
He explained that such circumstances could be caused by genuine mistakes, saying that the way forward was to know who was where and know what was ongoing.
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