He recently had his say during an interview with the press, and Nigerians have been reacting.
According to him, he believes the operations of the commission should be taken back to the Presidency from the Ministry because letting a minister control NDDC is a huge error.
He added that he currently sees the commission as a cash cow, and he doesn’t mean anything disrespect to the current minister in charge.
His words, “The nine oil-producing states in the south cannot continue this way. When our ranking members in the National Assembly came up with the Act governing NDDC it was for the development of the region. But has there been any development in the region? No. All we are seeing are abandoned projects everywhere because it is used as a conduit for siphoning funds. I will advocate that they should give the Commission back to the Presidency. By so doing, it would have been eliminated from being under the control of one person.”
“With regards to the probes, it is not the fault of the National Assembly. Each time we are probing, you will discover that before the end of the probe the management team of the commission would have been changed. Such change in leadership is stalling most of our probes and that is why you have not seen a comprehensive report from the National Assembly on those being probed. I am not pleased with what is happening in that direction and I urge the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to look into it. There is a need for a board to be constituted in the commission.”
“The Act governing the Commission gives the governors from the region the power to have inputs in the development of the area, but so far, I do not think the governors have been carried along. So, let us not bring partisan politics into this. The six governors in the South-South states are all members of the Peoples Democratic Party but it is not a yardstick for them not to be involved in critical decisions that have to do with NDDC. The governors in collaboration with stakeholders of the region should meet to come up with a template that would work because whatever they have been doing has failed. As it is, NDDC money is going to individual pockets and I do not think that is the reason why the Commission was established. Let us take partisan politics out of it and come up with a template that will work for the region.”
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