Youth Alliance Knocks Ohanaeze, PANDEF Over NNPC’s N621bn Road Intervention Projects

By Integrity Youth Alliance
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The Integrity Youth Alliance on Sunday knocked the apex socio-cultural group in the South-East, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum, accusing them of ignorance.

This was contained in a statement by the National Coordinator of the Alliance, Kelvin Adegbenga, titled, ‘Why Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum’s Nescience Should Be Ignored.’

The statement read in part, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum should know that it costs more to build infrastructure in the Niger Delta because of the nature of the land, which is mostly Riverine as against the North which has mostly plain dry land

“From our rough calculation, it will cost about N310million to fix a kilometer of road in the North-Central while in the South-South, it will cost about N1.9billion to fix a kilometer of road, so the South-South is even benefitting more when you look at the breakdown.

The Alliance asserted that “About three weeks ago, as a follow-up to its efforts in sustaining the current smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide within the festive period and beyond, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) engaged critical stakeholders so as to find lasting solutions to the road network challenges and other lingering issues

“It would be recalled that following NNPC’s intervention, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers called off a planned strike action, agreeing instead to accept the dialogue option proposed by the NNPC, a development that has sustained smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari took a decisive step towards actualization of his promise when he hosted a major stakeholders’ meeting at the NNPC Towers.

“The meeting was attended by the NNPC, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Department of State Services (DSS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

“During the meeting, Mallam Mele Kyari said stakeholders have agreed on a framework for NNPC’s intervention in critical road rehabilitation through the Federal Government Tax Credit Scheme.

The Alliance further said it agrees that Road construction or reconstruction is for the Ministry of Works and Housing but the Executive Order No. 007 on Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme 2019 has given Corporate organizations such as NNPC the power to support the Federal Government of Nigeria in provision of adequate public infrastructure for all citizens and encourage the free mobility of people, goods and services throughout the country, to promote national integration and protect the rights of citizens to engage in legitimate economic activities concerned with the production, distribution and exchange of wealth, goods and services.

“So it is unfair and unjust for Ohanaeze Ndigbo and PANDEF to fume over the timely Intervention of the NNPC Limited without comparing the costing in tandem with the kilometres of the road to be fixed.

“From all indications, the South-South geo-political zone emerged the second highest beneficiary of the NNPC Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment project with the sum of N172.02bn for a total of 81.9 kilometres of road, '' the statement concluded.