By Peters Nkang,
The Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been brought to its knees by the overbearing nature of the Minister of the Niger Delta Ministry Godswill Akpabio.
Today, what the region wakes up to see is the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs hiring and firing Ag. Managing Directors of the commission who are now more like his personal staff having succeeded in arm-twisting Mr. President to concede the supervision of the NDDC to him which he now administers as a privately owned company.
Nigerians are being deceived daily with the much publicized inconclusive forensic audit which is merely a ploy to scuttle the implementation of the region’s developmental master plan and deny the Niger-Delta people the dividends of democracy.
Development of the entire region has been staled. Billions are being siphoned on regular basis by this illegal contraption called interim management committee.
NDDC has been reduced to a unit of the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs where the minister calls the shots daily. Why the Northeast Development Commission is allowed to carter for the needs of the Northeast region, NDDC has been grounded to massage the ego of one man’s insatiable wants.
The Niger-Delta region’s development has become abandoned and now continuously destroyed by the activities of those who only care about their pockets at the detriment of its people.
The President must put an end to this deceit the Niger-Delta people are being confronted with in the name of an illegal interim management committee. Corruption has become the order of the day by these self acclaimed apostles of Interim Management Committee as witnessed in the regime of the sacked former Ag. MD Joi Nunieh who singularly spent over N4 billon naira (without budgetary approval) for Lassa fever treatment and increased her monthly imprest from N40m monthly to N51m monthly.
It is wrong for persons to be surreptitiously appointed and foisted to preside over the funds of the NDDC without passing through the scrutiny and approval of the National Assembly or usurp the powers of a duly constituted Board as provided in the NDDC Act.
Today, the Minister of Niger Delta, Akpabio has just gone ahead to bring in his Secondary School classmate, Keme Pondei as another Ag. MD of NDDC instead of allowing the Governing Board to be in place in line with the NDDC Act.
No doubt, the actions of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and those who are members of the illegal interim management committee are self-seeking. There is no spectacular administrative function the interim management committee are doing that a substantive board cannot perform. The region is faced with a litany of abandoned projects and staled development owing to this avoidable crisis artificially created by these actors to achieve pre-determined outcomes.
From the foregoing, it has become incontrovertible that the interim management committee have no special role to play in the commission rather, it has added to the depletion of its resources that ought to be channelled towards the development of the region through its self enrichment drive of the team and President Muhammadu Buhari must quickly nip this in the bud by allowing the NDDC to be run by a duly constituted governing board approved by the Senate just as the North-East Development Commission is currently being run by a duly constituted board, approved by the Senate.