Niger Delta stakeholders seek audit of NDDC over N2tr debt
Stakeholders in the Niger Delta have called for a thorough investigation of the over N2 trillion debt profile of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The former president of the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), Eric Omare, and the executive director, Centre for Social Studies and Development, Ken Henshaw, said the huge debt profile of the intervention agency would impede its ability to develop the region.
Omare told The Guardian that the debt makes investigating the commission from its inception imperative, even as he called for clear-cut rules to guide its operations.
“Simply put, the reason why they are where they are now is that over the years every successive board awarded contracts and abandoned previous contracts. That is the reason why we have this present challenge. So, once you award new contracts, it increases the debt profile without executing previous projects. There is a need to investigate the past, so that much that can be recovered should be recovered,” he said.
According to Omare, it is an open secret that the NDDC has not been able to deliver on its mandate because of incessant political interference and the lack of direction of successive boards and managements.
The remedy to the challenges plaguing the NDDC rests squarely with the president, Omare said. “The problem usually starts with the processes of appointment of board members. Normally, political godfathers in the region nominate their allies as board members with a view to oil their political machinery. So, if the president wants to address the problem of the NDDC, he must start from the processes of appointment which is used for compensation of political godfathers.”
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