The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) saddled with the responsibility to speed up the development of the oil-producing region of the country, has completely derailed from her dreams and philosophy, and is now riddled with allegations of corruption.
Before the creation of the NDDC in 2000 by the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration, the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) was in charge of issues bordering the oil-producing region. But when NDDC was created to replace OMPADEC, it raised the hopes of the people of the nine states covered by the interventionist agency for speedy development and freedom from the environmental hazards, arising from the activities of oil and gas companies in the area.
The commission was mandated to formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the Niger Delta area.
Little did Nigerians know that the commission would turn out to be a cesspool of corruption, to enrich a few persons and never care for the core mandate of bringing development to the region.
Records have it that since the inception of the commission in 2000, NDDC has received at least $40bn (N15 trillion) for projects in the oil-rich Niger Delta yet failed to achieve the Niger Delta Regional Development Masterplan to lay the foundation for transforming the region into Nigeria's Dubai.
Recently we heard of the alleged misappropriation of over N6 trillion in the running of the NDDC between 2000 and 2019, as documented in the recent Forensic Audit Report on NDDC.
Indeed, Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the action of President Buhari on the worrisome ongoing contract scams, financial recklessness, corruption, abuse of office, and mismanagement being perpetrated at the commission.
For me, I think, the President with advice from the Auditor General should appoint a renowned, internationally-recognized forensic auditor to carry out the exercise.
The continuous delay of the President seemed to have emboldened members of the commission to continue their criminal activities.
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