Posted on October 25, 2023
A group of Concerned Nigerian Businessmen and Community Leaders (CNBCL) has appealed to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to re-evaluate and promptly resume dredging projects in the region, warning that suspension of such all-important contracts will negatively affect the Nation’s economy.
The group also appealed to the Federal Government, NDDC and other relevant authorities to collaborate to address any legitimate concerns and issues tied to the said contracts.
In a statement released Sunday in Abuja, signed by the spokesperson for the group, Amechi Jones, said any disruptions to dredging activities can severely affect the transportation of vital resources, ultimately impeding production and revenue generation for the government and private sector stakeholders.
According to Jones, the suspension of these contracts presents a dire threat to both economic activities and the well-being of the local communities.
The statement reads: “We are deeply troubled by the recent decision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to halt all dredging contracts in the Niger Delta region and feel compelled to highlight the significant implications that this action carries.
“The Niger Delta region, known as the economic backbone of Nigeria, has, for far too long, grappled with environmental challenges and infrastructure deficits, especially regarding waterway navigability. Dredging contracts have been a lifeline for the region, facilitating not only trade and commerce but also serving as the very arteries through which countless livelihoods depend.
“Beyond the immediate impact on local communities, the suspension of dredging contracts has far-reaching consequences for Nigeria’s national economy. The Niger Delta region plays a pivotal role in the country’s oil and gas sector. Any disruptions to dredging activities can severely affect the transportation of vital resources, ultimately impeding production and revenue generation for the government and private sector stakeholders.
“In response to these concerns, we earnestly implore the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to reevaluate and promptly resume dredging projects in the region. While we acknowledge the importance of transparency and accountability in the execution of contracts, we firmly believe that such objectives must be balanced with the imperative of regional development and the welfare of the people.
“We call upon the relevant authorities, including the NDDC, the Federal Government, and state governments, to collaborate to address any legitimate concerns and issues tied to these contracts. A swift resolution is in the best interest of both the region and the nation at large, ensuring the continuous growth and development of the Niger Delta.
“Our group remains dedicated to closely monitoring this situation and working collaboratively with all stakeholders to reach a mutually beneficial solution. We are unwavering in our commitment to prioritize the well-being and progress of the Niger Delta and its people.
“We also use this opportunity to make a strong appeal to the NDDC and the Federal Government to settle all outstanding payments owed contractors who have handled several projects as non payment is leading to massive layoff of workers and eventually the close down of the companies with a resultant negative impact on the local economy.”