ANEEJ Urges Buhari to make NDDC Forensic Audit public, welcomes constitution of NDDC Governing Board, Management
BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. October 24, 2022… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to make the Forensic Audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) public even as they welcomed the reconstitution of the Board and Management of the Agency, with a call on the Senate to expeditiously consider the nominees without delay.
Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor while welcoming the disengagement of the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa noted that the next step should be a formal public presentation of the Forensic Audit findings by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with the anti-corruption stance of the present administration.
The ANEEJ helmsman cautioned that those appointed and approved by the National Assembly must not see their appointment as an opportunity to drain NDDC funds for the upcoming 2023 elections, but an opportunity to serve the people of the Niger Delta to transform their sufferings into purposeful human and infrastructural development.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the move by President Muhammadu Buhari as it is long overdue. It is better late than never. We believe that the move should help strengthen transparency and accountability in the Niger Delta interventionist agency, that is why we are calling on the President to take a further step to make the Forensic Audit report public, so that those appointed can be guided by the findings.
“It is important to caution all those called up to serve either in the Board or Management to see their appointment as a call to serve the people of the Niger Delta and not to see their appointment as an opportunity to drain funds of NDDC for the 2023 general elections but a call to bail the people of Niger Delta out of decades of suffering, environmental degradation and poverty,” Ugolor stated.
Rev Ugolor averred that the new Board and Management are coming at a very critical time in the lives of the people of the region when flood and oil theft has wreaked serious havoc in most states in the oil-rich region, destroying lives, livelihoods, properties and basic infrastructure of the people and cautioned that they must make poverty eradication a top priority.
“Expectations are very high from those appointed and they should be prepared to work with Civil Society Organisations if they must succeed. They should ensure they begin massive reform of the NDDC, ensure the passage of the NDDC Amendment Act Bill currently before the National Assembly as well as curb wastes and mismanagement of resources for which the NDDC,” Ugolor admonished.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the disengagement of the Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa, from his post with effect from 20, October 2022. having been appointed interim administrator of the Commission for the duration of the Forensic Audit into the operations of the NDDC, which has now been concluded. President Buhari has also approved the constitution of a new Management Team and Governing Board of the NDDC in line with Section (2) of the NDDC Act, 2000.
ANEEJ and its eight (8) cluster members are implementing the “Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria” project, which is a subset of the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project being implemented by Palladium with support from USAID. The project is advocating for reforms in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to improve the livelihoods of the people of the oil-rich Niger Delta Region.