Governors Mandate Network (GMN) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for extending the tenure of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) till 31st December, 2020.
The Network equally commended governors of the Niger Delta states who had earlier in the year struck an agreement with the President to ensure that a comprehensive forensic audit of the commission is done, the task which has now necessitated the extension of the committee’s tenure.
The Chairman of the Network, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, in a statement of Tuesday further noted that the arduous task of undertaking a credible forensic audit of the projects and programmes of NDDC in the past few years could not have been concluded in such a short duration.
While thanking the nine governors of the Niger Delta states for showing increased interest in the well-being of the NDDC, Onaiwu also appreciated the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for cooperating with the governors for the development of their region via quality supervision of the affairs of NDDC.
The GMN boss lamented that the NDDC has over the years been fraught with issues of corruption and phoney projects which had meant that the commission has very little to show for the billions of naira it had received on behalf of the region. He then advised the Prof. Pondei-led Interim Management Committee not to disappoint President Buhari, the governors and the people of Niger Delta, urging them to deliver unfailingly on their mandate.
Bayelsa born Prof. Keme Pondei was appointed to head the Interim Management Committee of NDDC by President Buhari following a tumultuous saga in which saw the Commission changed leadership 5 times in one year. There have been serious allegations of fraud and contract scams bedevilling the Commission since its inception. That necessitated the governors from Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Edo, Delta, Imo, Abia and Ondo states- which constitutes the NDDC to reach and agreement with President Buhari for the forensic audit of past projects which the Interim Management Committee is undertaking, albeit with fresh accusations.