In July 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari reconstituted the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) wherein Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba from Cross River State became the new Chairman and Obong Nsima Ekere from Akwa Ibom State, the Managing Director. This development has been quite beneficial to the people of Cross River State, who have enjoyed a new lease of life, as far as NDDC is concerned. The situation prior to now had been such that the State was not getting adequate attention from the Commission, as compared to the other catchment States.
Recognizing this fact, the State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, during a courtesy call on him by the Board then remarked that “Cross River State deserved sympathy because it was disadvantaged among the Niger Delta states, especially in the area of infrastructural projects.”
In apparent reaction to the above remark, and of course guided by a clear understanding of the basic infrastructural deficit facing the State, the Senator Ndoma-Egba led Board had successfully changed the situation for the better. Today, the presence of the NDDC is obviously littered across the State in a positive manner, intervening in areas of critical needs such as major and connecting roads within and across the States, educational facilities, water supply, power supply installations, etc. In all of these, the NDDC Chairman has been propelled by an urgent need to deliver the dividends of good governance to the people, through the instrumentality of the NDDC. Politics has been a far flung consideration in his thinking and actions. However, and quite ironically, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State, ostensibly demonstrating an amusing level of self denial reacted in the most absurd manner to an assertion by Senator Ndoma-Egba, during a radio interview last December, that 90% of all duly completed and motorable roads in Cross River State since 2015 are done by either the NDDC, the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs or the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, all agencies of the Federal Government as ably led by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In several weak and ridiculous attempts to puncture the position of Senator Ndoma-Egba, the PDP agents have been more concerned with attacking the person and character of the NDDC Chairman, instead of presenting facts to counter his assertion. What is incontestable is that major and connecting roads in Cross River State were in very deplorable conditions by 2015, inflicting untold hardship to commuters. It is also incontrovertible that the situation has improved drastically, with the following roads done by the NDDC, and they stand as the only completed roads in State:
- Twins Street in Calabar South LGA
- Asuquo Ekpo Street in Calabar South LGA
- Asuquo Nyong Street in Calabar South LGA
- Repairs of Adam Duke by Abasi Obori Lane with big drain
- Emergency repairs of the Ikom-Calabar Highway to Mkpani
- Emergency repairs of Ikom-Obudu Road all the way from Ikom to Wula
- Emergency repairs of Ikom-Calabar Highway (Iyamoyong to Ochon)
- Emergency repairs of Ikom-Ogoja Highway (Mbok Junction to Okundi)
- Construction of Kakwagom-Bawop road in Boki LGA
- Emergency repairs of Calabar-Ikom Highway (Akpet Central to Ibiae Oil Palm Estate)
- Emergency repairs of Calabar-Ikom Highway (Akpet Central to Ugep)
- Emergency repairs of Cameroun Street, Ikom Town
- Emergency repairs of Princess Nkaragha Street in Ikom LGA.
The following roads have been awarded and contractors mobilized by the NDDC, with completion timelines of 12 months or less:
- Construction of Apostolic Road, off MCC Road, adjacent to Akai Effa Town Hall
- Construction of Oku-Aro – Ndok Road in Ogoja LGA
- Construction of Sir Goddy Nwokeji Close, off Atekong Drive, Calabar Municipality
- Construction of Okangha Mkpansi Road in Ikom LGA
- Construction of Imina Road, Adadama in Abi LGA
- Sankwala (Obanliku) – Bumaji (Boki) road
In addition, there have been NDDC interventions in over 30 primary and secondary schools have been renovated in Abi, Obubra, Ikom, Yala, Etung, Yakurr, Boki, Calabar South, and Calabar Municipality involving building of new blocks, renovation of existing facilities, supplies of learning aids, etc. Also the Commission had installed water supply boreholes and solar-powered street lights in some locations across the State.
Senator Ndoma-Egba is not known to be an attention-seeker, having already enjoyed the grace and privilege of Almighty God to etch his name in gold, not only in Cross River State but across the country. He is not given to cheap talk to gain any political capital. He is a serious minded and committed Cross Riverian who is too focused on bringing the much needed development to the people than be distracted by idle folks, who reduce every single issue to cheap politics. The NDDC Chairman insists that 90% of all duly completed road projects in Cross River State within the last three years were done by Federal Government Agencies and supported with the above listed roads which are open and accessible for confirmation by any interested member of the public. He challenges the PDP in Cross River State to prove otherwise, with facts, instead of indulging in needless mudslinging in his direction. It is a fact that as NDDC Chairman for the past two years, Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has delivered on his mandate, not only to Cross River State but also in all the other catchment states making up the Commission. As the saying goes, FACTS DON’T LIE.