Buhari, IPMAN, Niger Delta
President Muhammadu Buhari

By: Abayomi Adeshida

A political pressure group, Governors Mandate Network (GMN) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for extending the tenure of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) till 31st December 2020.

GMN in a press statement circulated in the Federal Capital Territory equally noted the contributions of governors of the Niger Delta states who had earlier in the year struck an agreement with the President to ensure that a comprehensive forensic audit of the commission is done, the task which has now necessitated the extension of the committee’s tenure.

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The statement which was signed by Chairman of the Network, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, and released to the media in Abuja further noted that the arduous task of undertaking a credible forensic audit of the projects and programmes of NDDC in the past few years, “could not have been concluded in such a short duration.

‘While thanking the nine governors of the Niger Delta states for showing an increased interest in the well-being of the NDDC, we in the Governors Mandate Network also appreciate the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for cooperating with the governors for the development of their region via quality supervision of the affairs of NDDC”, he noted.

The group lamented that “the NDDC has over the years been fraught with issues of corruption and phoney projects which had meant that the commission has very little to show for the billions of naira it had received on behalf of the region.

“We, therefore, seize this medium to advise the Prof. Pondei-led Interim Management Committee not to disappoint President Buhari, the governors and the people of Niger Delta.

“We also urge members of the interim committee to seize the opportunity of the extension of their time to deliver unfailingly on their mandate,” the group concluded.

Prof. Keme Pondei who was born in Bayelsa State was appointed to head the Interim Management Committee of NDDC by President Muhammadu Buhari following a tumultuous saga which saw the Commission change leadership 5 times in one year.

There have been serious allegations of fraud and contract scams bedevilling the Commission since its inception.

That necessitated the governors from Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Edo, Delta, Imo, Abia and Ondo states- which constitutes the NDDC to reach an agreement with President Muhammadu Buhari for the forensic audit of past projects which the Interim Management Committee is undertaking, albeit with fresh accusations.

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