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Activist urges review of NDDC master plan for transparency

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[FILES] Buhari received in audience Governors of nine States comprising the Niger Delta Development Commission Board at the State House, Abuja. Photo: TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

Rights advocate, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has implored the Federal Government to review the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC) master plan for an unambiguous understanding of the interventionist agency since its establishment via an Act of the National Assembly by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 2000.

During a press briefing yesterday in Lagos, she stated that the exercise would give a better insight into what had been done, was being done, and is to be done regarding the development of the ‘oil-rich but neglected’ region as captured in the 2005-2020 targets of government, adding that the forensic audit of the organisation ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari was in the right direction.

The Igba of Warri urged that both assignments be carried out simultaneously to deepen probity in the system, enjoining the central government to convene a tripartite stakeholders’ meeting involving Niger Delta governors, leaders, and creator of the NDDC, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as a guest for the document review “to remind us where we are coming from. It is only when he knows where we are coming from, that we will know where we are going.”

Lori-Ogbebor recalled that the agency came into existence to address calls for the replication of an ‘Abuja’ in the ‘abandoned’ region that lays the golden eggs for the ‘nation’s survival’ and to effectively tackle the concomitant youth militancy that birthed on the “strength of the age-long deprivation, underdevelopment and short-changing of the region.”

The activist regretted that the agency has been run over the years “like the typical government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs),” adding that the area “is in need of functional basic road, health and learning infrastructure for the betterment of the people.”

Her words: This decision (on forensic audit) has saved the country, and indeed the Niger Delta. The region could have been pushed into a crisis by a few greedy people. I applaud the governors and all Nigerians who stood up for justice and fair play. The decision has saved us all.”


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