Niger Delta activists reject downsizing in NDDC’s board, demand forensic audit report details

Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

EFCC arrests 27 illegal oil thieves in Rivers

The Niger Delta Activists Forum (NDFA), yesterday, rejected planned reduction in the number of directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board, as recommended in the forensic audit report.

This followed activists demand for the publication of names of those, who allegedly abandoned 13,000 projects in the region over the years and an accelerated constitution of the NDDC board.

Lead Forensic Auditor, Kabir Ahmed, who gave an overview of the report, said the team recommended managerial and structural changes, chief of which should be the downsizing of NDDC’s board.

Ahmed said the team recommended that its members should henceforth be appointed board members on part-time basis to reduce cost.

But speaking at a media briefing, yesterday, in Abuja, President of NDFA, Success Jack and former President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Jude Imagwe, said such structural changes should be extended to other commissions if the Federal Government went ahead to implement the recommendation.

“There is a law that established the NDDC and that law still stands with every state and zone duly represented. If we want to go that way with the NDDC because it concerns the Niger Delta region, we will insist that every arm of government, sector and commission should be treated on the same part time basis,” they said.

The group argued that the Niger Delta people deserved to know the details and outcome of the report, adding: “Our people have suffered degradation, water contamination, air pollution and we can’t even farm again.

“It is worrisome that some people decided steal funds meant for projects allocated for the benefits of the people.”

The group maintained that a forensic audit meant an in-depth investigation of a matter, which is why the authorities should make its findings public.

“We expect that the details should be made public. The report is not a private document, but one that covers how taxpayers’ money was spent and so, they should know the contents of the report.

“It can only be just, fair, transparent and accountable if President Muhammadu Buhari takes a step further, as a crusader of anti- corruption to publish indicted persons and corporate bodies in the audit,” the group stated.

MEANWHILE, operatives of the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, disclosed that it has arrested 27 persons over illegal oil bunkering.

The commission said the suspects were arrested on Friday, September 10, 2021 in Ahoada Council of Rivers State. EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said they were arrested during a raid conducted by the agency based on intelligence on their activities.

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