NDDC denies owing workers 6 months salaries

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By Desmond Ejibas

Port Harcourt

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has dismissed speculations that it is owing its security workers over six months salaries.

NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr Pius Ughakpoteni, gave the clarification in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Security workers attached to the commission on Tuesday threatened to carry out a peaceful protest over non-payment of their salaries.

Ughakpoteni said that NDDC was not directly responsible for the payment of salaries to its security workers, but contractors hired by the commission.

“We are aware of the reports in the media claiming that our security workers were threatening to protest non-payment of their monthly salaries.

“We wish to state that the commission engages security companies, who in turn employ and pay security guards to work at our various offices, to safeguard our facilities.

“These service providers are certainly not being owed for six months as alleged in the media reports,” he said.

He said the security companies hired by NDDC in Delta and Rivers states had informed the commission in its report that the security personnel had been paid as of Aug. 22.

“There is no basis for the companies to owe their workers arrears of salaries especially as the contract they signed with NDDC addresses that.

“The clause states that the company must have the capacity to pay their staff for at least two months in the event of any delay from the commission.

“So, we want to assure the security workers that monies meant for payment of their salaries were not diverted to other businesses as alleged,” he added.

Ughakpoteni said the commission has a zero-tolerance policy for corrupt practices and urged members of the public with evidence of such illicit practices to reach out to NDDC for prompt action.

He said the threat by the security officials to protest at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt was no longer acceptable but through peaceful means.

According to him, the Samuel Ogbuku-led NDDC has laid the foundation for rapid economic development and sustainable governance structure for effective operations of the commission.

“We restated that entrenching the tenets of accountability and transparency in our activities forms part of the thrust of the new NDDC management.

“We assure our stakeholders and members of the public that the NDDC management will not be distracted in its resolve to do things differently in developing the Niger Delta,” he stated.

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