Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, August 4, stated that the recent revelations on the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) did not come as a surprise to him.
Wike explained that the agency has veered from its original mandate; and has become a source of wealth for some corrupt politicians.
He made this declaration during an interview in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
“I have said before and it is very clear; my concern is everybody knows that NDDC was set up for the development of the region,” Wike stated.
He added, “Unfortunately, they have turned it to a different thing; NDDC is a cash cow for politicians. In my own election, NDDC brought N10 billion cash to fight against me.”
The governor’s reaction is the latest among several others following the probe of the agency by lawmakers in the National Assembly in Abuja.
The National Assembly has launched a probe into the fraud running into billions of naira said to have been perpetrated by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC between February and May 2020.
This led to the discovery of more scam in the agency which sparked a series of drama; as well as blame games between government officials and lawmakers.
During one of the investigative hearings organised by the National Assembly, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio alleged that about 60 per cent of the NDDC projects were awarded to lawmakers.
This allegation was rebutted by some members of the Senate as well as House of Representatives.
Amid various responses to the minister’s claim, Governor Wike accused the agency of embarking on projects in Rivers without the consent of the state government.
He also said probe of the NDDC by the lawmakers was one-sided as the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the agency led by Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei ought to be investigated as well.
“When they are talking about probing IMC, I said what are you doing only with IMC; what about the other committees? Professor Kemebradikumo and the rest of them. They (the lawmakers) have not invited us; and why I don’t want to go is that what am I doing with the IMC?” Wike asked.
Governor Wike believes that in order to reverse the fortune of the agency; technocrats and not politicians should be placed in charge of the commission to enable it to function effectively.