By Ernest Chinwo
The Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Gbene Joi Nunieh, has said the commission has suspended the monthly payment of N1 billion to a consultant that collects money from International Oil Companies (IOCs) on its behalf.
Nunieh, who spoke in an interview with journalists at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt Tuesday, emphasised that the commission did not need middlemen to collect statutory funds due to it.
She said: “We have a consulting firm engaged as a collection agent. We have another company that also collects three per cent whenever money is paid by the International Oil Companies (IOCs).
“We don’t need a middle man to collect three per cent for gas. The money should just be paid into NDDC accounts with the CBN.”
Nunieh stated that political interferences were setting the commission back, noting that her desk was overflowing with files waiting for payments, even from companies belonging to an individual.
She asked: “How can someone have 87 companies waiting for payment?”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said in spite of the political interferences, she was not going to compromise, adding that: “That is why I have suspended the contract of a collection agent. We are no longer going to pay anyone N1 billion every month. That is wicked.
“That money can put mono pumps in rural communities in the Niger Delta. It can buy books and set up primary health centres. The three per cent for a consulting firm is over. That is why we are under pressure. But I laugh because those who live in glass houses should never throw stones.”
Nunieh called on the people of Niger Delta to stand up to protect their region.