From Ndidi Ihejieto, Owerri
Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Imo State, Chief Uju Madu has called on the Federal Government, FG, to commence steps towards unbundling the Niger Delta Development, Commission NDDC, with the view to making the commission efficient and result-oriented.
Speaking in a chat with newsmen in Owerri yesterday, Chief Madu, a security consultant, urged the federal government to establish the commission in each of the nine(9) states of the Niger Delta region and allocate funds due to each state directly to them instead of the current arrangement where billions and trillions of Naira are domiciled with a few persons for disbursement.
According to him, only unbundling of the commission will check the magnitude of corruption that has bedevilled the NDDC since inception because the measure will break the backbone of the cabal milking the commission dry.
“Unbundling NDDC will end the reign of the cabal. It will also encourage close supervision and monitoring of activities of the Commission by individual state governments as well as the federal government, unlike what is happening now.
“Federal Government should take the bold initiative to decentralize the commission. This will only require a review and amendment to the NDDC Act and other relevant legal instruments,” he posited.
Madu blamed the presidency and members of the National Assembly, NASS, for the corruption in the commission stressing that it is the pressure and undue interference from the presidency and NASS that has been fueling the corruption in the NDDC.
He said, “Officials of the Presidency and members of the National Assembly should be blamed for the problems of corruption in the NDDC. They are responsible for the mess because they left their official assignments to become contractors of the Commission which they are supposed to supervise. In such a situation what do you expect?
“It is the undue interference in the affairs of the Commission that is causing corruption. If the person or organ of government that is vested with the responsibility of carrying oversight functions on NDDC, now turn to contractors to the same Commission, how can there be transparency.
“The excesses of the management of NDDC stems from the fact that they have long been savouring some sense of immunity and insulation from checks because of the unholy romance between authorities of the commission and federal legislators and top personnel of the presidency.”
Chief Madu who expressed concern that the rot in the NDDC was taking place right under the nose of President Muhammadu Buhari, and he appears to be handicapped to tackle the mess, regretted that nobody has been brought to book over corruption in the Commission since inception.
He therefore called for a holistic probe to uncover all those behind the liquidation of the the commission’s funds with the view to bringing all defaulters to book.
The security expert however warned that if the outrage in the commission is not addressed and checked urgently, the Niger Delta militants may be provoked to return to the trenches again as a way of registering their disappointment with the corruption in the Commission.