LAGOS HERALD – Civil Society Organisation, Social Action has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately inaugurate a substantive governing board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as provided in the NDDC Act 2000 (As Amended).
The call follows a directive by the Federal Government that all unexecuted contracts awarded by the Commission between 2000 and December 31 2019, be revoked, and beneficiary contractors yet to mobilise to sites; be made to refund all monies to the NDDC account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to a statement by its Communications Officer; Comfort Agbebaku, the CSO noted that the step signalled a right move towards promoting accountability in the Commission while reiterating its call for the swift inauguration of a substantive NDDC Board.
READ ALSO: N100b Contract Scandal: Senate summons NDDC Management
“The people of the Niger Delta region have suffered years of neglect by the Federal Government and worse even by the NDDC.
That a Commission meant to engender the development of the regions, is enmeshed in corruption and has failed to oversee the proper execution of contracted projects is heartbreaking. This is a sign of a serious structural and administrative problem.
We condemn the use of a Sole Administrator to run the affairs of the NDDC. The successive interim administrations have failed to effectively pilot the activities of the commission which is a clear breach of the NDDC Act as amended which ensures checks and balances in the commission,” the statement read in part.
READ ALSO: NDDC is a den of robbers – Chikere
They also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill his promise made on the 24th of June 2021 to inaugurate the NDDC Board after the completion of the Forensic Audit. It added that the audit report has been submitted since the 2nd of September, 2021, even though it has not been made public, yet the Board has not been inaugurated.
“Just as the North East Development Commission (NEDC) has a constituted Board in place in line with its NEDC Act which ensures checks and balances, transparency, accountability, and fair representation amongst its constituent states, we call for the same in the NDDC.”
They further called on the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan to honour his commitment towards ensuring that the Senate is ready to push for the inauguration of a Board in the Commission as it is long overdue.
READ ALSO: Scrap NDDC, ex-Perm Sec tells govt in advocacy for paradigm shift
“We call that current the Sole Administrator contraption be terminated as the establishment of a full-fledged management and the Commission’s governing board will bring about transparency and accountability in the Commission and by extension development in the region.
We call on President Buhari to immediately inaugurate the NDDC Board by living up to his promises of ending corruption and repositioning the commission for greater achievement,” the statement added.