The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has this evening, 16th of July, 2020 sworn that he is determined to get to the bottom of the problems undermining the development of the Niger Delta region of the country despite the huge amount of funds committed to the development of the area. This assurance is coming after the recent crisis between the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, led by the acting Managing Director, Kemebradikomo Pondei, and between the current members of the Management Committee and erstwhile leaders of the Management, including Joi Nunieh. The president said that he has charged all stakeholders to work with synergy to ensure that the current audit exercise is not stalled. He said his administration is fully committed to bringing even and sustainable development to the region.
“I am determined to get to the root of the problem undermining the development of the Niger Delta, in spite of the enormous national resources dedicated to this annually. This administration remains committed to bringing rapid, even and sustainable development to the region.
“In line with this, I have made it clear to the National Assembly and our investigating and law enforcement agencies to pursue better coordination in their work, so that the shared goal of ensuring sanity, transparency and accountability of dedicated funds can be achieved.
“All investigating agencies and auditing firms currently working collaboratively with National Assembly Committees to audit and reposition the NDDC must act with urgency and a sense of purpose, and ensure that I am kept informed of any and all actions being taken.
“Our determination to entrench transparency and accountability applies not only to the NDDC, but also to all other institutions of the Federal Government. We will not relent.””‘”
There has been accusations and counter-accusations since the president directed that an audit be conducted on the Niger Delta Development Commission to determine how funds were dispensed. We reported that the NDDC alleged that the people spreading fake news about the current Management Committee of the Commission are scared of the outcome of the audit exercise on the Commission. Click here to read the news story.
Since then, there have been revelations about the people behind the constant misinformation, and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Niger Delta, was fingered as one of the people trying to frustrate the new Management Committee. The Senate had gone ahead to claim that about ₦40billion was missing under the current Management, an accusation that the Committee called false, saying it is a mere distraction strategy. The Senate went ahead to set up an investigation of the new Management Committee.
Quite recently, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio, who is also a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, had a war of words with Joi Nunieh, claiming that she was sacked because she was involved corrupt practices, also disclosing that she does not have any record of the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Nunieh has since leveled a series of corruption allegations against the minister and several other officials of the NDDC.