Groups urge govt to reconstitute NDDC
THE appointment of an acting Managing Director for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Muhammadu Buhari has drawn flaks from two major groups in the nine oil-producing states that form the mandate area of the intervention agency.
The groups, Oil and Gas Producing Community of Nigeria (OGPCN) and Coalition of Oil-Producing States (COPS) in a joint statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, also condemned the delay in the composition of the board of the commission by the Presidency.
In the statement signed by Prince Okoroboh Peter and Charles Ebimoni for the two groups, they said the inability of the President to constitute the board, six months after its dissolution, had created a vacuum and caused tension in the region as projects meant to address the unrest and key developmental needs of the people, have remained stagnant.
They said the people in the region viewed the nonchalance and non-commitment of the Federal Government to their well being as a sharp contrast to the ethos of President Buhari’s change mantra and contravention of the Act establishing the commission.
The groups stated further that the appointment of an acting Managing Director for the commission is a waste of time and resources meant for the development of the area and called for the immediate constitution of the board.
They insisted that NDDC, as an agency created by an Act of Parliament to cater for the development of the people in the mandate area, has been redundant and stagnant, creating a worrisome situation and unnecessary tension in the region.
The groups also demanded for an increment of oil derivation fund to member sates from 13 per cent to 25 per cent, stressing that “this is in support of the reality on ground in the Niger Delta today. It is imperative to state here that the 13 per cent derivation fund is highly inadequate to assuage and redress the gross balkanisation of the Niger Delta environment by oil exploration.”
They, therefore, implored the President to heed their demands in order to avert a looming bickering between the oil-bearing communities and their state governments, whom they accused of mismanaging their derivation funds.
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