Clark Bemoans Failure Of NDDC To Fulfil Set Purpose

…Wants NASS Members Investigated On Corruption Allegations

Ijaw leader, Chief E. K. Clark, has complained that intervention agency, Niger Delta Development Commission, has not fulfilled its purpose since it was established.

In an open letter to Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Clark said he had to speak out because the purpose for which the intervention agency was set up had been defeated.

The Ijaw leader said: “The happenings in the NDDC, since the dissolution of the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Bill over 20 years ago for which I was very much involved, have been of great concern to all of us in the region having regard to the amount of money sunk into the Commission by the Federal Government, but there is nothing to show for it. The NDDC is an intervention agency brought about to salvage the people of the Niger Delta region but this purpose has completely been defeated”.

He said that most leaders, elders and youths in the region had fought for the establishment of Niger Delta Development Commission saying it would be “murderous” for persons to blatantly rob people of the region.

In the letter, the Ijaw leader said that members of National Assembly facing allegations from interim management of the agency should be investigated.

 Quoting Acting Managing Director of the agency, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, Chief Clark said the acting managing director told the press: “We have faced so much pressure from some members of the National Assembly not to send certain files to the forensic auditors… We have refused to pay out N6.4 billion for the 132 jobs which have no proof of execution… The 2019 budget was passed two months to the end of its implementation period… Two, the budgets are bastardized by the National Assembly in a way that renders it all useless… The National Assembly members insert items we have no plans for (and they) are then forced on the Commission when it is not part of its master plan … While acknowledging that the National Assembly reserved the right to probe the NDDC… we suspect that the probe being trumpeted by the National Assembly is not for altruistic reason but an attempt by some members to arm-twist the IMC.”

The leadership of the two Committees on Niger Delta Affairs in the Senate and House of Representatives were previously accused by former managements of the intervention agency, the Ijaw leader said but they lacked the courage to speak out.

He said that the Acting Executive Director of Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, also spoke of alleged corrupt practices by some members of the National Assembly including the Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Affairs and his counterpart in the House of Representatives saying that they “openly and flagrantly” committed fraud.

The Ijaw leader said that the Acting Executive Director, Projects alleged that no action had been taken on the Commission’s 2020 budget because members of the National Assembly were “asking for all sorts of things”.

He said that statements credited to chairmen of the committees showed that they denied the allegations.

Chief Clark said if nothing was done to investigate the members facing the allegations it would erode the confidence the people especially Niger Deltans had on the National Assembly.

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