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Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has declared that the development intervention of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Abia State falls far below average going his own assessment.
The Deputy Speaker, however, gave the assurance that the House was committed to ensuring that none of the oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta was left out in interventionist programmes of the Commission.
Kalu, who spoke when the members of the UKwa Consultative Council visited him, said the House would take a critical look at the intervention projects of the commission and ensure that every oil-producing community is given its fair share of interventions.
While commending the leaders of the UKwa Consultative Council and other leaders from the area for maintaining peace in the area, said it was better to jaw- jaw than to war-war.
He appealed to them to continue to encourage the youths of the area to maintain peace, adding that a lot will be achieved through continuous dialogue.
He expressed concern about the level of NDDC intervention projects in Ukwa land despite being the only oil-producing area of Abia State.
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He said “I must say that the level of NDDC projects in the area is below average and it is because of you that Abia State is considered an oil-producing area.
“This has been a thing of concern to me. We have taken this up with the NDDC leading to a tour of the area by the Managing Director of NDDC. We will look at what has been done in the past and see how it can be addressed so that everyone gets what is due to them.”
On the request from the delegation for the member representing the area to be allowed to serve in the NDDC Committee of the House, the Deputy Speaker said the Selection Committee was still in the process of compiling names of members to serve in the various committees.
He told them that though the selection was predicated on one member per state, their request would be looked at based on its merit.
Leader of the delegation, Chief Don Ubani decried the level of neglect of the area by the NDDC, pointing out that the leaders of the area have been able to impress it on the youths to maintain the peace.
Ubani also decried the state of the Aba/Port Harcourt road, saying that as a result of the state of the road, a journey of about one hour now takes about five hours.