The forensic audit report on the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) recently to the federal government made some shocking revelations.
Part of the revelation is the 13,777 projects substantially compromised in the region. These are contracts for projects and programmes awarded to contractors and consultants in all Niger Delta states from 2001 to August 2019, at a total value of N3.274 trillion.
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During the period under review, it was reported that the commission maintained 362 bank accounts as conduit pipes through which funds were used to pay contractors for projects that were later abandoned.
Repentant militants, who embraced amnesty had irregularities in the payment of their N150,000 annual house rent allowance and N65,000 monthly stipends. Those unluckily paid through the bulk account were given a paltry sum while their leaders ‘eat’ the lion share.
It is now obvious that the problem of the oil-rich region is in fact not the present administration but past governments and management of NDDC who failed in their mandate to assuage the plights of Niger-Deltans.
If at all we are to talk about marginalization, then it should be noted that the indigenes of the Niger Delta are marginalized by the actions of those who mismanaged and misappropriated their funds. Hence, they should rightly channel their grievances and frustrations and demand their right from their leaders and representatives who have been at the helm of leadership of the NDDC since its creation.
PMB’s intervention on the happenings in the NDDC is commendable. He has once again displayed the character of a true leader.
This is a wake-up call for the people of Niger Delta to rally round the president and support the measures that would be taken to bring to book all those involved in any form of financial malpractice that has led to the underdevelopment of the Niger Delta.
Jantiku Ijanada can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org