‘Forensic audit solution to perennial decay in Niger Delta’
The forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been identified as a solution to the years of decay and underdevelopment in the zone. NDDC’s Acting Managing Director, Professor Daniel Pondei, who stated this in Port Harcourt, clarified that the exercise was not to witch-hunt any group or individual, but to highlight the areas of strength and weaknesses of the commission.
Represented at an event by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, the NDDC chief described the audit as sacrosanct, “because the time had come for the NDDC, which was established in 2000, to offer a lasting solution to the socio-economic challenges of the six Niger Delta states and other oil producing areas, to take a quantum leap into the future as evidenced in other regions of the world.”
Delivering a paper entitled, “The NDDC, Facts, Figures and Falsehood”, the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, pointed out that the oil-rich region was third largest delta region on earth, populated by 31.2 million people, yet the least developed in Nigeria.
He regretted that while the natural resources from the area make the nation the sixth largest oil producer in the world, 70 per cent of the people live below the poverty line with accompanying parlous education, health, sanitation, job creation, water and infrastructure.
To “address this unfortunate paradox, the Federal Government established the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), through an Act of the National Assembly, the NDDC Act 2000, with the aim to cater for the needs of the nine political states of the Niger Delta region. To implement its obviously wide mandate, the NDDC, at inception, adopted a two-pronged strategy, an interim action plan under which all projects abandoned would be completed and new ones executed to douse prevalent tension, and a regional master plan that will be a roadmap for integrated, long-term development.”
“Over two million patients have been treated in the NDDC Free Healthcare Mission, a figure that far outweighs figures typically treated by some of the best hospitals yearly,” he submitted.
In the same vein, the Deputy Director, Media Relations in the commission, Pius Ughakpoteni, unveiled what it takes to manage digital public relations and social media for the audit.
His words: “As communications specialists, the most critical part of your job entails assuaging a largely angry and disappointed people, and taming voices of discord (towards) the genuine intentions of the NDDC forensic audit across the Niger Delta region. To achieve this, you must be subsumed within the overall corporate, departmental strategy and social media plan of the NDDC forensic audit team.”
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