The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, was established in the year 2000 by the administration of former President Olusegen Obasanjo with the sole mandate of developing the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. However, twenty one years after, the hopes of the region have been dashed as they are yet to see the expected development. Rather, what we hear are tales of looting of the common wealth by criminally minded officials who have access to the funds, and their accomplices, and this is irrespective of whether the agency was run by a sole administrator or a board.
The perception of the NDDC as a place where moneys are looted, where lip service is paid to due process and accountability has been the reason for the serious infighting- for who should be in control of the key to the safe – to guarantee free access to the common wealth. And the feeling has been that, whoever controls the administration determines the direction that monies are diverted, and this is done without regard for the development of the Niger Delta. This has nothing to do with the constitution of board for the NDDC, but has all to do with the greed of those who see NDDC as a place to easily collect huge sums of money for hundreds of contracts not executed.
At a time when efforts are at advanced stages to conclude and declare the outcome of the forensic audit at the NDDC with a view to sanitizing the processes and procedures of the agency, the natural expectation should be that all hands should be on deck to ensure the achievement of that objective. Therefore, any attempt to stampede any one to appoint NDDC is a sign of desperation, and those behind it owe the Niger Delta people some explanations. They have to explain what makes their stake in the Niger Delta Development Commission more than that of other stakeholders in the region.