A member of the House of Representatives, Farah Dagogo, has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), so as to eradicate the factors making it impossible for the interventionist agency to actualise its core mandate.
Dagogo, who represents Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency of Rivers State, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated this in an interview with journalists, in Abuja.
The lawmaker noted that it is unfortunate that the development in the Niger Delta region is not commensurate with the resources that has accrued to the NDDC since its establishment 20 years ago.
He stated that there is need to get the commission to adhere strictly to its core mandate, especially in making meaningful interventions in the Niger Delta states.
According to him, “the way to go is for Mr. President to overhaul the NDDC in such a manner that will eradicate to the barest minimum some of the notable problems militating against the ability of the NDDC to deliver on its mandate. Lets rejig the NDDC and ensure it religiously adheres to the core mandate for setting it up, especially in the areas of meaningful intervention.
“The monies credited to the NDDC in the last decade is not near commensurate with what is on ground in the Niger Delta. It bears similarity to how the Governors have mismanaged the 13%derivation fund.”
Dagogo advocated for a new recruitment process,devoid of political inteferences, into the board and management of the NDDC, so as to insulate the commission from unnecessary bureaucracy.
He stated that the new recruitment process should be handled by competent recruitment agencies, who will recruit qualified Niger Deltans from within and outside the country to run the NDDC.
The lawmaker added “this pattern of recruitment substantially curtails political interference and pandering to the whines and caprices of politicians and influential Nigerians who are in the habit of planting board and management staff in proxy for themselves.”
Besides, Dagogo canvassed for a forensic audit of the NDDC to be undertaken by credible audit firms, other than those currently engaged by the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC).
“A forensic audit be conducted by credible firm, other than those being engaged by the IMC, to recover stolen funds including monies carted away by non/underperforming contractors as well as indentify priority and failed projects,” he said.