The meeting was called at the instance of the leadership of the NANS Zone ‘B’ concerning the recent happenings and state of the nation especially bordering the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The students’ leadership was very pained with the manner at which the collective treasure of the region was looted by a gang of political jobbers who gathered as contractors, political appointees, legislators and their surrogates. The Niger Delta Development Commission is an intervention agency that came into existence by the act of parliament to allay the fears and yawning of the minority oil rich oil producing areas. The sources of funding of the agency were properly, explicitly and adequately outlined in the act and from available statistics it is obvious that since inception in 2000, the commission has received over N7 trillion with nothing to show about.
The students’ leadership was appalled with the height of irresponsibility and misappropriation of the commission by the board members, national assembly, contractors and politician. This heartless cabal has turned the commission into a political money spinning machine starting from inception as all the former board members has so much amassed wealth from the purse of the commission. It is evidence that starting from the commission all former board members has politically contested for governorship of their various states right from inception (eg. Onyema Ugochukwu; Timi Alaibe; Nsima Ekere; Late Power Ziakede Aginighan; Dan Abia; etc).
We also observed that members of the national assembly have been seriously compromised as they were involved in the padding of the commissions’ budget. Revelation has also shown that committee Chairmen and some members have appropriated through their cronies special and intervention projects; while some got up to 50 projects others got none. The imbroglio between the Interim Management Committee (IMC) and the both chambers of the national assembly has shown that they are not representing the interest of their constituents.
More demeaning is the activities of the contractors who has been at the forefront of racketeering and abandoning of projects. Each time, these contractors re-scope their contracts through the assistance of the commission staffs and members of the NASS to add already existing contracts into the budget so that it will be re-awarded to them. This action has been a major setback in the region as all the commissions’ projects that were abandoned has been awarded severally to one particular contractor. The issue of paying contractors who presents interim payment certificates is a fraud perpetrated to the extent that some contractors have been paid up to 70 percent yet no visible presence in the areas. This scheme only shows that the contractors are mostly syndicates to the big powers players.
The recent show of shame by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and Dr Joi Nunieh indicates that it is either one is protecting the activities of Nsima Ekere; Dan Abia and His excellency Nyesom Wike respectively. The investigating agencies (ICPC and EFFC) were expected to have investigated this rape on the common wealth of the region before the information came to the public purview.
Finally, we frown at the extent of wickedness perpetrated by the management of the NDDC on the oversea students scholarship scheme whereby our colleagues the Niger Delta students schooling abroad has not been paid their scholarship since 2016. Yet, the IMC was quick to pay palliatives and other allowances to themselves why our brothers and comrades struggle to fend for themselves abroad. This act of abandonment could lead some of the students to criminal activities in other to survive in a faraway land.
The student leadership hereby resolves the following:
That we commend and align totally with the decision of President Mohammed Buhari on the forensic audit of the commission starting from the inception and plead that Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei lead Interim Management Committee (IMC) tenure be included in the audit because they have proven not to account for over N 50bn within six months of being appointed. We support that the forensic should start and be concluded on record time.
That since Dr Joi Nunieh the former IMC Managing Director and Sen. Godswill Akpabio the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs have publicly agreed that the forensic is yet to commence due to late approval, we plead that President Mohammed Buhari should appoint independent foreign auditors and directly oversee the forensic audit.
That Sen. Godswill Akpabio the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs should resign with immediate effect because his credibility has been called to question by the National Assembly Committee and the former IMC-Managing Director Dr Joi Nunieh.
That based on 3 above, we urge President Mohammed Buhari to as a matter of urgency appoint a more credible Niger Deltan to the portfolio because his continuous stay in the office will put doubt on the forensic audit.
That we reject the call to move the NDDC to the office of the Secretary General of the Federation as we still believe that Niger Delta still have competent and capable hands to supervisor the commission under the ministry.
That the NDDC should pay all the oversea students scholarship entitlements with immediate effect or face the wrath of the students’ community.
That President Mohammed Buhari should dissolve Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei lead interim management committee (IMC) and look closely to appoint credible Niger Deltans to constitute a new management board.
This resolution if not met within 14 days will leave us with no option than to relocate and occupy the commissions’ headquarters and forestall all activities until our demands are granted.
Aluta Continua! Victoria Ascerta!!
Comr. Etinyene Friday Offongekpe
Zonal Coordinator (NANS Zone B)
Comr. Nwokocha Noble Obusoh
Secretary General (NANS Zone B)
Comr. Tekena George
Communique Drafting Chairman
Comr. Preye Amos
Communique Drafting Secretary