The Niger Delta Rights Advocate (NDRA), a prominent rights group, has called upon President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to establish a presidential monitoring committee aimed at supervising the daily operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and subsequently reporting on these activities at regular intervals.
The group has articulated its demand for enhanced accountability and performance within the Commission through the activation of Part 6 Section 21 of the Establishment Act 2000. This entails the appointment of a Monitoring Committee for the NDDC, which would be entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing fund management, project implementation, and gaining unrestricted access to the Commission’s records. The committee would subsequently provide regular reports to the President.
“We insist that the accountability and performance of the Niger Delta Development Commission need to be reinforced by the Federal Government, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR. This reinforcement should materialize through the activation of Part 6 Section 21 of the Establishment Act 2000, wherein a Presidential Monitoring Committee for the NDDC would be appointed to closely monitor financial management, project execution, and unrestricted access to the Commission’s records,” the NDRA emphasized.
The NDRA has vowed to release comprehensive details in the forthcoming days, revealing billions of naira allocated to the NDDC through 50% of Ecological funds earmarked for member states, 15% of total monthly allocations for member states, and 3% of the overall annual budget of oil and gas processing companies.
In a joint communiqué signed by Hon. Bright Ngolo, Chairman of NDRA, and Darlington Nwauju, a stakeholder among others, the group expressed dissatisfaction with the recent appointment of Ministers for the Niger Delta region in the nine (9) states. The group criticized what it described as the appointment of “recycled politicians from the region,” except for Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (Minister for Interior).
However, the group urged Tunji-Ojo to replicate the exemplary performance he exhibited as a representative of his constituency, particularly the reform he spearheaded in the operational approach of the NDDC while heading the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC.
The NDRA also appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to consider appointing an individual who understands the intricacies of the youth constituency and possesses the necessary experience to liaise and coordinate various blocs and interest groups within this unique demographic. Additionally, the group emphasized that the appointee’s grassroots acceptance and contributions are pivotal, suggesting that the individual should not be a politician based solely in Abuja.
The NDRA further proposed Barrister Mustapha Bello Mohammed, a former Students Union President of ABU Zaria, as well as a former aspirant for the National Secretary position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria, for the position of Minister for Youth of the Federal Republic. The group viewed this recommendation as a demonstration of unity and merit, transcending religious, regional, or ethnic affiliations and fostering a united Nigeria.