By Chioma Obinagwam
The Bonny Graduates’ Forum has said that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), in its 17 years of existence, has no footprints in terms of infrastructural development in Bonny.
The Spokesperson of Bonny Graduates’ Forum, Cyril Hart made this statement while reacting to the recent amendment of the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act by the House of Representative at a press briefing held in Lagos at the weekend.
The amendment of the Act, which seeks to subject NLNG to 3 per cent NDDC levy, Hart argues, is not justifiable since the infrastructural development in the Niger-Delta region is nothing compared to the amount of money invested in the commission.
“Talking about NDDC, over $40 billion has gone into that commission. I don’t think anything in infrastructural development in that community is any where near $40 billion,” he noted.
“Ordinarily speaking, there should be the signboard of NDDC in Bonny. The Oil and Gas Polytechnic by the NDDC, died before it started,” he continued.
He added that the amendment would be inimical to the economy, especially, now that the country is in dire need of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Hart pointed that losing an investment worth $25 billion in the proposed gas Trains 7 and 8 in the event of an eventual amendment of the Act by the Senate is a step in the wrong direction.
“Your foreign reserves is in the neighborhood of $28 billion and someone is bringing in an investment that is close to your foreign reserves- $25 billion investment,” he said.
The spokesperson further pointed that 18,000 jobs tied to the investment would further reduce restiveness in the Niger-Delta as most of the militants will be gainfully employed.
Hart noted that NLNG has done well in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the areas of power supply, health etc.with the latest being the N60 billion road construction project.
Hart said: “I don’t think anywhere in Nigeria has 24 hours power supply but Bonny enjoys 24 hours power, courtesy- NLNG. There’s no footprint or signboard of NDDC in Bonny and someone is asking us to divorce NLNG and marry NDDC?”
Bonny Island is situated at the southern edge of Rivers State in the Niger Delta of Nigeria near Port Harcourt. Ferries are the main form of transport to and from the island.