SIR: One continues to be amazed at the level of under development of the Niger Delta in spite of enormous national resources that had been injected into the section year in year out.
It becomes imperative for right-thinking individuals or determined government to thoroughly peruse the factor(s) undermining the development of the region. Getting to know the root of the problems will pave way for considerable solutions to the menace of mismanagement of funds.
Sadly, this problem of transparency and accountability is not limited to the NDDC as an institution alone. It cuts across all our institutions.
A couple of days back, the acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu was quizzed by the presidential panel for more than eight days over allegations of gross misappropriation of funds and insubordination.
The allegations led to his suspension. The same game played last year at NHIS. It was the allegation of mismanagement of public funds that led to the suspension of Usman Yusuf, the then chairman of the scheme.
To address these wrongs that have consumed badly the institutions, the government must work with other concerned authorities to speedily diagnose what had gone wrong and what needs to be done to in order to drive back the institutions to their original mandates and discharge their duties diligently in making life better for Nigerians.
The unfolding dramas around corruption, looting, and mismanagement of funds within the NDDC have raised eyebrows. Who could have believed that the Interim Management Committee, would, within such a short time, engage in such unbridled looting of funds meant for the development of the area under the Buhari administration? The atrocities committed are worrisome and calls for swift attention from the government.
It irks one to the marrow to see Niger Delta expected to be an exemplar in development, bask in abject poverty and retardation. Where parts of the region are not lamenting over ecliptic power outrage, the quality of infrastructural projects executed in most parts have been said to be below acceptable standards.
All in all, the recent happenings have shown that the problems of Niger Delta are the leaders of the region. Imagine the report that members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) could not account for N183 billion when they appeared before the Senate ad-hoc committee. They admitted awarding themselves N1.5 billion for Coronavirus relief package for selves. They are also unable to respond to claims of misappropriating N40 billion.
The people of the region need to hold their leaders accountable for virtually all the vices and zero development in their part of the country. It’s clear beyond argument that billions of naira are being pumped therein; the problem has to do with leaders who cannot make reasonable utilization of it.
The government should get to the root of the matter. The activities of the corruption-ridden Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC should be brought under closer scrutiny. Former acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Joi Nunieh needs to further explain all she knows about how the money was mismanaged.
Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, the current acting managing director should be made to explain the extent of his involvement in the scandal. The same applies to Godswill Akpabio, the Niger Delta affairs minister.
The walking out and fainting dramas should not prelude investigation and prosecution of all those indicted in the wholesale fraud in the commission.