By Emem Idio
The Ijaw Youths Council IYC, Worldwide has called on the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to immediately publish the report of the forensic audit embarked upon by the commission.
The IYC in a statement by its President, Timothy Igbifa, said:”We were all happy when this forensic audit started in February 2020 because we believed that it would sanitise the NDDC and give the commission a new beginning to actualize its mandate in the Niger Delta region.
“But it has been one year that the investigations started. It is time to publish the report of this investigation. Every audit has a lifespan and we think that one year is more than enough to complete the audit of NDDC and publish the report.
“At a point, our leadership insisted on the dissolution of the IMC and the inauguration of the substantive board but instead of constituting the new board, a sole administration headed by Effiong Akwa was put in place to run the affairs of the commission with the singular task to conclude the audit and hand over to a substantive Board while expending the 2020 budget tenured to March 31, 2021.
“The March 31 is a few weeks ahead and we believe it is time the President readies the board for the commission knowing full well that the Board members would be subjected to an official inauguration before the handover date which is April 1, 2021. We are calling on the President to inaugurate its members before April.
“The IYC and other stakeholders in the region want to see a published forensic audit and swearing-in of the board for the commission, which has already been screened by the National Assembly. We repeat that the audit is not in perpetuity. It has a terminal date and we believe that it is about time it ends.
“We won’t allow any politician or group to ride a roughshod with the resources of the commission and mess with the NDDC Act for their selfish political interest forthwith. The time to end the aberration in NDDC is March 31, 2021.”
Igbifa said the IYC and the Niger Delta were expecting an end to the sole administration of NDDC before April 1, 2021, and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the board that will take over from Akwa on April 1, 2021.
He recalled that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, mentioned April as the resumption date for the substantive board to take over the management of the NDDC, adding that IYC and other stakeholders in the region would not allow the current management structure in the commission to stretch beyond March 31, 2021.