NDDC was launched by ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo after years of agitation by the people of the Niger Delta for a unique interventionist agency to cater for the development of the region, but he added Imo, Abia, and Ondo as member states of the commission due to their oil-producing status.
Reacting recently, Prof. Ambily said even if Imo, Abia and Ondo States are crude oil-producing states, they are not under the Niger Delta geographic region so they should not benefit from money specifically set aside for the development of the region.
He added that can be no sincere development in the region if things are not rectified.
His words, “There is a generic term when you talk about a Delta region. And from my research, there are about ten deltas across the world, with three in Africa. They are the Nile Delta in Egypt, Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Niger Delta in Nigeria. And out of the ten delta regions across the world, the Pearl Delta in China does not produce oil but it has similar environmental features and challenges like the Niger Delta.
“So Obasanjo while creating the NDDC equated the delta as an oil-producing area and this is wrong.
“I say so because Saudi Arabia, for example, produces oil but is not a delta. So if you are creating a commission to cater for the special needs of a people in the delta, why add states that do not have the features of a delta?
“We need to distinguish this fact when we are talking about how we sincerely want to develop an area and the people that inhabit it.”
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