By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has said that the need to amend the commission’s Act was to make it more development orientated in the service of the region.
He said that many deficiencies inherent in the extant laws regulating the affairs of the commission were stifling efficiency and transparency in the commission.
Tunji-Ojo spoke against the background of a bill introduced in the House on Tuesday to repeal the NDDC Act to make it effective.
Essentially, the bill will provide minimum qualification for those to be appointed into management position within the commission and proscribe minimum qualification for the appointment of the Managing Director and Executive Directors of the commission.
Fielding questions from journalists on the introduction of the bill, Tunji-Ojo said: “The desire to contribute our quota to the development of the country is the reason why we are here in the first place. We have put our hands on the plough to get a commission and a Niger Delta and a country of our dream and we are not holding back.
“Just on Tuesday, we had the first reading of the NDDC repeal and establishment Act. The journey for the rebranding of the NDDC will not end with the issue of the probe. That is just a very minor aspect of the whole process.
“Our major desire is to hand over a well-structured organisation that will have an unparalleled level of efficiency in terms of legislative frame work for people coming after us. For an organisation to develop, you have to concentrate on building strong institutions rather than strong personalities.
“For this reason, we are going to work on the law governing of the NDDC to make abuse of office impossible; to make it difficult for anybody to abuse office. We have to amend our laws to make sure that when people come into a particular office, they will not circumvent due process.
“I want to assure you that by the grace of the Almighty God, every kobo of the Niger Delta people will work for the people of the Niger Delta. We will ensure that NDDC is a platform for the rebirth and transformation of the Niger Delta.
“We will do our best at this level to ensure that our oversight functions are done in line with global best practices and every kobo appropriated would be accounted for, for the development of the people. We have started it. This happened to be the first time in the 21 years of the NDDC that such a thing is happening. It showed that the will is not absent.
“We have the will and the support of the leadership to do all that is needed to be done to transform the Niger Delta region. The Niger Delta region gives more than 70 percent of the revenue of this country and the money coming into the Niger Delta region is enough to transform the region.”