Niger Delta group calls for return of NDDC to presidency, EFCC probe
Against the backdrop of corruption scandals that have enveloped the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in recent times, a pressure group from the oil producing region has called for the return of the commission to the presidency for effective monitoring.
NDDC, established by the Nigerian government to accelerate infrastructural development in the Niger Delta region where the bulk of the country oil is produced has been enmeshed in corruption allegations and mismanagement of the resources meant to develop the region.
A probe was set up by the National Assembly to investigate the allegations of mismanagement by the commission interim management team but ended in fiasco as the minister of Niger Delta Affairs ministry, Godson Akpabio accused members of the committee of responsible for the bulk of contracts awarded by the NDDC.
However, the Coordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Congress and a former Publicity Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress, Joseph Evah has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the anti-graft agency to look into the affairs of the commission.
Evah said the government should use the institutions that investigate and probe frauds in the country to investigate the NDDC rather than allowing politicians.
He specifically asked the government to deploy the instrumentality of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) into the ongoing investigations into the affairs of the commission.
“We are begging the president to do what is right for us; remove politicians from NDDC, checkmate this drama that is happening for the sake of our children because there is a lot that NDDC can do for our generation and the future generation and the presidency know what is right.
“Our youths are not engaged. The major problem of the Niger Delta is our governors. If we have proactive governors our problem is half solved,” Evah said.
The investigative committee of the House of representatives empaneled to look into the allegations of financial mismanagement in the organisation ended abrupted on Monday when the acting chief executive of the NDDC, Kemebradikumo Pondei fainted while being questioned by the HoR committee and has to be moved to the hospital.
However, the probe turned dramatic when the minister of Niger Delta, Akpabio accused the committee that the bulk of contracts awarded by the NDDC was given to the members of the parliament.