Seriake Dickson, the governor of Bayelsa State, on Friday, July 5, 2019, accused the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, of channelling monies for developing the Niger Delta into the elections of the ruling political party in the country.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, said the governor maintained that the development had hampered the commission’s capacity to actualise its mandate to bring development to oil producing communities.
The governor, he said, made the comment while receiving the Acting Managing Director of the interventionist agency, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, and a team from the commission at the Government House, Yenagoa, on Friday, July 5, 2019.
The governor said that that the use of NDDC funds for election other than what they were voted for, was unfortunate and should be a thing of concern to leaders of the Zone.
The governor joined the NDDC Acting MD to demand the payment of the N1.9 trillion being owed the commission to enable it to carry out its developmental responsibilities in the oil rich region.
The governor decried the politicisation of the NDDC and called for the immediate constitution of the NDDC’S Advisory Council towards strengthening the commission’s controls and systems which he noted are presently lacking.
“The NDDC is not a body that should be left on its own in doing all kinds of things at its whims and caprices as it pleases. It is a very serious body. It is a mechanism already designed in the legislation for the involvement of other stakeholders and the most important stakeholders are the governors of the oil producing states.
“We want to see the NDDC fulfilling its maximum potential and it has not been able to do this as a result of the deliberate politicisation of the NDDC.
“The commission contrary to its founding principles, has become some political fund at the whims and caprices of those who control the federal government.
“The NDDC funds are channeled for elections, into all kinds of activities other the main reason for which it was set up. That is very unfortunate and that has limited the capacity of the body to impact maximally the challenges of the region which I find very appalling.
But it is something that all stakeholders need to sit down to seriously address. I listened to your call for collaboration for us to get the N1.9 trillion that you have said is owed.
“But as we join hands to ask that all funds owed the NDDC be paid, we should equally join hands to demand for accountability, demand that projects that are conceived are not ones designed for power brokers but projects that really have the capacity to impact on the communities in need of development and so I call for a new approach.
“I call for the new management and your team to be collaborative when you are designing projects that you want to use scarce resources to fund. Don’t just conveniently sit down and be deciding and designing projects for our region and for state governors, that contracts for water hyacinths are more important than contracts for the construction of lasting infrastructure that will support the complete turn-around for our people” he said.
In his remarks, Prof. Brambaifa expressed the Commission’s desire to build synergy with the state government to ensure human and infrastructural capital development.
The NDDC Acting Boss had earlier called on the Federal Government to commence payment of the N1.9 trillion being owed the commission by the Federal Government which he said would go a long way in the bid to development the Niger Delta.
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