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Don't Scrap NDDC – Iyoyo

A citizen of Rivers State, Elder Samuel Iyoyo, has said that Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should not be scrapped despite happenings in the Commission.

Speaking in an interview, Elder Iyoyo said although NDDC was set up to enhance development of Niger Delta, it was mismanaged by those appointed to run the commission.

He said although there were fraud allegations against the management, the commission should not be scrapped saying that there are good people who can still run the commission.

Elder Iyoyo said: “There are still good people in the Niger Delta that can run the place. The Niger Delta Development Commission should not be scrapped. We need it”.

He expressed sadness that over N81 billion was allegedly spent by management of the commission on what had nothing to do with development of the region.

Iyoyo said the interventionist agency should be able to develop the Niger Delta in addition to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs saying “what else” do people of the region want?

He said that money in NDDC should be used to develop the region.

“The NDDC was set up to enhance development for Niger Delta. If for instance from January to May or so, N81 billion was spent and you hear publicity, travels and all that and none for real development, it's sad,” he noted.

He said the people of the region should not give impression that they do not want development in Niger Delta. He also said that money allocated to the agency should not be used for political purposes.

The House of Representatives is currently investigating the NDDC over alleged mismanagement of funds.

Acting Managing Director of the agency, Prof. Kemebradikumor Pondei, collapsed on live TV while answering questions from lawmakers over mismanagement of funds allocated to the commission.

Prof. Pondei slumped forward in his chair less than an hour into his session in front of the committee investigating alleged fraud in the commission.

Following his collapse, several people in the committee room went to his aid and tried to resuscitate him.

The incident disrupted the committee's session and the acting managing director was taken away from the committee room as he regained consciousness.

Previously, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that he had “made it clear to the National Assembly and our investigating and law enforcement agency to pursue better coordination in their work so that the shared goal of ensuring sanity, transparency and accountability of dedicated funds can be achieved”.

In addition, he said: “All investigating agencies and auditing firms currently working collaboratively with National Assembly Committees to audit and reposition the NDDC must act with urgency and a sense of purpose and ensure that I am kept informed of any and all actions being taken”.

The NDDC was established with sole mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta in year 2000 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.