The federal government has been urged to decentralize the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as the agency, as presently constituted, is not serving the needs of the Niger Delta region.
The Publicity Secretary elect of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), in the last inconclusive election of the INC. Engineer Oyakemeagbegha Ezonebi, made the call in Asaba while speaking on the shocking revelations trailing the ongoing probe of the NDDC by the National Assembly.
Engineer Ezonebi said the establishment of the commission was as a result of the struggle by concerned leaders and youths of the region that meant well for the Niger Delta region, which had remained the hub of the nation’s economy, but regretted that the agency had only existed in principle with nothing tangible to show in terms of development in the oil producing states.
The INC Publicity Secretary elect maintained that the Boards that had piloted the affairs of the NDDC had only been self serving, which had tended to promote corruption in the operations of the Commission, leaving the oil rich Niger Delta region worse for it.
He advocated direct dealings with the oil producing states by the federal government through the various State Oil Producing Areas Development Commissions and under the direct supervision of the state governments which have better understanding of the felt needs of their states.
Engineer Ezonebi added that while it would be difficult to hold the NDDC accountable for non performance, the story would not be the same when the states handle their funds, as the people would want to know how the funds were applied, while the failure of any State Commission would not affect the others.
He faulted the way NDDC Chairmen and the Board members were appointed by government, stressing that the appointments were based on party loyalty and patronage.