Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has said Nigeria cannot afford to have crisis in the South south geo-political zone due to its economic importance to the nation.
Akpabio who spoke with reporters after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday night, confirmed that he met with ex-agitators in the region for the sake of preserving the economic backbone of the country.
He noted that his meeting with the stakeholders was a way of calming tension and recommended same to political leaders of other crisis-prone region to stem restiveness in their areas.
While stressing that he was not under pressure to reconstitute the NDDC board, the Minister said: “No. Everything is politics whether it’s development or composition. Nobody has put me under pressure to reconstitute the board. I can sponsor any group of people to make statement but the major thing is peace of the region.
On the reconstitution of the NNDC board, he posited that the process has been fast-tracked, noting that the names of nominees would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly.
Akpabio, however, insisted that the ongoing field forensic audit to the commission must be completed as the outcome would serve as a guide to the board’s operations.
According to him, the audit report should be turned in by the end of July.