Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
A civil society organisation, Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reconstitute a proper board.
The CSO also asked Buhari to suspend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, over the corruption and mismanagement rocking the commission.
The group said there was need for the Federal Government to reconstitute a “proper NDDC board as well as remove NDDC from the supervision of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs” in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
In a statement by its Executive Director, Yomi David, titled, “Allegations of Awards of NDDC Contracts,” the group said repositioning was needed in the commission if there would be meaningful development in the Niger Delta region as well as lasting peace.
The statement said: “It could be recalled that Senator Akpabio at a public investigation hearing by the National Assembly, Abuja, alleged that both arms of the National Assembly were given or awarded contracts and projects to develop the Niger Delta areas by the NDDC.
“The public hearing was aimed at uncovering alleged massive diversion of funds, malapropism, fraud and endemic corruption in the NDDC.
“The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has been suffering immense neglect, and even the East-West road in the Niger Delta Region has been abandoned by the ministry.
“We therefore, call on the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, to suspend the minister and the entire Interim Management Committee of NDDC for gross misconduct, mismanagement, fraud and corruption and to constitute a proper NDDC board, as well as removing NDDC from the supervision of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“This is in order to reposition the commission to carry out the mandate of meaningful development of the Niger Delta region and ensure a lasting peace in the region.”