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‘Mismanagement of funds’: Don’t scrap NDDC, Urhobo leaders tell FG

‘Mismanagement of funds’: Don’t scrap NDDC, Urhobo leaders tell FG
July 27
18:43 2020

A group known as the Urhobo Leadership Forum in Abuja (ULFA) has asked the federal government not to scrap the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

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Many have called for the scrapping of the commission following alleged mismanagement of funds.

The senate and house of representatives conducted separate probes into the alleged misapplication of N40 billion and N81.5 billion respectively by the interim management committee of the commission.

While the senate considered the report of its probe panel and approved recommendations including asking the interim management to return N4.9 billion extra-budgetary expenditure among others, the house is yet to state its own recommendations.

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Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Olorgun Esin, ULFA president, said the commission should not be scrapped in order to avoid “a relapse or degeneration into the destructive militancy that predated the establishment of the NDDC.”

“That NDDC must not be scrapped. The ULFA cautions that such an action will create its own problems,” Esin said.

“Therefore, this matter should be handled with the seriousness, equity and justice the situation demands so that there is no relapse or degeneration into the destructive militancy that predated the establishment of the NDDC.”

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The ULFA president said although the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari is commendable “but working with an illegal IMC is absurd.”

“It could be said that the federal government’s approach to the management of the NDDC after the expiration of the tenure of the last governing board gave rise to many untoward developments,” he said.

“This is further exacerbated by the meddlesomeness of tap government functionaries and their cohorts in the affairs of the commission. The intendment of the NDDC Act is subverted and jettisoned in favour of directives from those who exercise the federal might.

“This has been with the connivance of some Niger Delta elements, all of whom are unperturbed by the dire future of the people of the area when oil and gas exploration and production would have become a thing of the past.”

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The quality of persons appointed to the board and the chief executive of NDDC leaves much to be desired. A situation where both the board chairman and chief executive of the commission have been mainly politicians is inimical to the growth and development of the Niger-Delta area. Apart from only 2, all other past Managing Directors have been politicians. The consequence is that they have continued to be Iackeys and stooges of their mentors.

“We like to conclude by emphasising that the NDDC is an interventionist agency created to fast track development in the region.”

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