- The federal government has been asked to stop funding the NDDC
- The call was made by Niger Delta groups under the auspices of tCoalition for Sustainable Development in the Niger Delta
- The group vowed to mobilize stakeholders across the region to continue with their planned protests next week
A coalition of thirty civil society organisations drawn across the Niger Delta region has called on the federal government, multinational oil companies and development partners to discontinue any form of funding to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This was disclosed to stakeholders after an emergency review meeting on Tuesday, September 8 convened by the leadership of the group drawn from nine Niger Delta states in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
The CSOs under the auspices of Coalition for Sustainable Development in the Niger Delta (COSADNA), said the decision was as a result of what they described as “massive corruption and pervasive culture of looting that is still going on in the NDDC.”
In a communique issued after the meeting and sent to Legit.ng, the group expressed deep disappointment at “the level of corruption perpetrated by the Interim Management Committee led by Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei.”
The group wondered why the IMC has not yet been sacked “despite the revelations of high-level squandermania, fraud and mindless diversion of resources meant for the development of the region that have already been uncovered.”
The group vowed to mobilize stakeholders across the region to continue with planned protests next week “until the federal government will be forced to harken to the wishes of the people to sack the IMC.”
Addressing stakeholders after the meeting, national coordinator of COSADNA, Prince Kakas Amgbare appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently look into the plight and lamentations of the Niger Delta people by appointing more competent people into the NDDC.
His words: “We have been holding extensive consultations across the region in the last two weeks. The broad consensus from stakeholders is that the current IMC of NDDC has lost credibility and should be replaced immediately. Our people are highly embarrassed by the revelations coming of NDDC.
“Most especially, this is the first time that a very incompetent person who has no relevant qualification is holding sway as director of projects. We ask President Buhari to sack Mr Cairo Ojougboh because he lacks the requisite experience and background to hold such a sensitive position.
“As someone who does not come from an oil-producing community, he is incapable of feeling the urgency of development deficit amongst us. Today there are many abandoned projects across the region.
“Many of them can be completed and commissioned with very little additional investment. However, Cairo Ojougboh does not have what it takes and leaving him to continue to such a position will come at the huge negative cost.”
The NDDC is reputed to be one of Nigeria's most corrupt federal government agency, with politicians in successive governments emptying the treasury of the commission repeatedly while their bosses look away.
More than 200 students who landed a scholarship through the NDDC in 2019 are currently stranded in the United Kingdom.
While the students protest every day, the Nigerian High Commission in London over their plight, stories of the malfeasance in the NDDC are constantly been dished out by the Nigerian media.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that a group, Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI), recently called for the suspension of the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The group made the demand in a press statement sent to journalists on Monday, August 17, and signed by its executive director, Ambassador Yomi David.
The group also called for the suspension of the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC, “for gross misconduct, mismanagement, fraud and corruption.”
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