The Federal Government has been commended for raising questions on the finances of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC).
In a statement by the Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC) the rights group praised President Mohammmed Buhari’s administration for being the first to raise questions about the finances of the commission since its establishment in the year 2000.
“The NDDC for the past 16 years was a drain pipe for politicians. The commission was used as a conduit pipe to siphon public funds and provide contracts for jobs running into billions of naira which were never executed.
There is the need for a paradigm shift in the ways and manners the affairs of the commission are managed”, the rights group stated. NHRC said President Buhari needs a new Managing Director that can key into the great vision of the new government which is to make the Niger-Delta a critical partner in the development of the country.
The group said that at present the NDDC is overwhelmed by politicians who continue to see the NDDC as a milk cow for vested political interests. The NHRC accuses the Ondo State government of sending former Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) chiefs to decamp to the APC with the aim of becoming the NDDC boss.
‘We commend the Buhari-led government for showing deep concern on how NDCC finances have been spent in the past 16 years. There is no doubt that if the NDDC is probed, the Federal Government will retrieve enough money to pay workers in the nine Nigeri-Delta states many of who are owing their workers up to five months or more salary areas”, the NHRC said in a statement signed by its Niger-Delta coordinator, Emi Daniel Weri.
The group also accuse politicians in the area of scheming to take over the NDDC by proxy. “Many politicians in the Niger-Delta have been putting pressure on the Presidency to appoint a politician into the position of the NDDC boss.
This will be counter-productive. The current government in Ondo State has in fact asked some of its allies to decamp to the All Progressives Congress, (APC) with the hope of deluding the Presidency that they are loyal to the government of the day.”
The rights group cautions the Federal Government to be aware of what it called wolves in sheep clothing who had crossed from the PDP to the APC with the hope of clinching the position of the Managing Director of the NDDC.
NHRC noted that the NDDC at the moment needs a technocrat who is not politically inclined but who is rather committed to the upliftment of the Niger-Delta and the unity of the country.