The Niger Delta Building Fee (NDDC) has been asphyxiated. It’s out of oxygen. It now runs at the noxious gasoline of corruption; its usefulness outlived and outpaced through fraud and thoughts boggling ethical and fiscal depravity. The company is a powerful argument in opposition to the mushrooming of regional commissions which finally end up changing into money machines of a couple of.
What is going on within the NDDC is a large whale dinner party — with indiscriminate and soulless butchering of the company’s treasury. Nigerians within the Niger Delta requested for building, however they have been sectioned to bear pauperisation and the purloining in their patrimony. They requested for guardians of the general public, however they have been passed hunters of the average wealth.
The NDDC used to be established on June 5, 2000 as a reaction to the agitations of the Niger Delta for building. However regardless of the massive chest of assets allotted to this fee through the years, it has failed prodigiously to convey the barest minimal of building to the area.
With an annual price range of about N300 billion, the NDDC has nourished the flatulent entrails of the behemoth of sleaze whilst the area it used to be supposed to handle atrophied. There’s most likely no company of the federal government that has remained unaccountable and opaque with its operations like this fee. The company is the proverbial ‘’regional cake’’ the place governors from the south-south and different pursuits ogle to take a slice.
The Niger Delta is among the maximum deprived areas within the nation in phrases human, infrastructural and subject material building. Not up to 30 % of the natives have get admission to to scrub water. Poverty blooms within the villages and creeks which might be marooned from any type of modernity. The area plods away in illiteracy and illness as fundamental sanitary machine, faculties and well being care are just a pipe dream.
It is a area which is the breadwinning partner of the rustic. 90 % of the rustic’s earnings comes from the area. Between 1965 and 2000, Nigeria earned over $350 billion from crude oil – consistent with the Global Financial Fund. Additionally, an audit document through Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in 2018 confirmed that Nigeria earned up to $677.nine billion in 18 years, between 1999 and 2016, from the sale of crude oil. However why is the rustic’s goose hungry; raped and tortured?
I should say, the Niger Delta is a sufferer of its thieving elite who suitable and expropriate assets supposed for the folk to themselves. The area should, as a question of urgency, rejig and nozzle its agitation to the enemies inside.
In October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the fee from 2001 to 2019. He mentioned the present fortunes of the Niger Delta don’t justify the huge assets which have been funnelled into the fee. He used to be proper.
“I attempt to observe the Act putting in place those establishments, particularly the NDDC. With the amount of cash that the government has religiously allotted to the NDDC, we can like to look the effects at the flooring; the ones which can be chargeable for that experience to give an explanation for sure problems. The tasks mentioned to were carried out should be verifiable. You simply can not say you spent such a lot billions and when where is visited, one can not see the buildings which have been carried out,’’ he mentioned.
Truly, the president’s determination to audit the NDDC is an intrepid quest. I doubt if some other management took the initiative to appear during the iron protect of the company’s operations. However I’m sceptical in regards to the end result of this journey. My reason why is modest. The present control of the NDDC overseeing the audit has been imagined to be flunkeys of Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, who himself has been accused of complicity within the contract fraud on the company.
The allegations of Pleasure Nunieh, former performing managing director of the NDDC, in opposition to Akpabio are thick and can’t be discounted. Inasmuch as I believe the audit procedure is already tainted, I imagine it will have to be carried out nonetheless. However I strongly imagine we wish to rethink the aim of the NDDC. It has failed to succeed in what it used to be set as much as accomplish.
Will we stay feeding the beast?
Fredrick Nwabufo is a creator and journalist.