Save Niger Delta commission, group tells Buhari, others

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The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, Sunday, called for the inauguration of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The General Secretary of the union, Sikiru Wahid, made the call in a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday.

Wahid said the call had become imperative to save the commission from destruction.

He, therefore, appealed to the President, Major General  Muhammadu Buhari(retd.) the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and other stakeholders to take urgent steps to ensure the NDDC delivered on its mandate.

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”As critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta Development Commission, and of the regional development efforts, after taking a critical review and appraisal of all the happenings within and around the NDDC since January, 2019, we have resolved as follows:

”That we, as staff of the NDDC, collectively, under the umbrella of AUPCTRE, cannot fold our hands while different political actors from the region through their actions or inactions undermine the enabling Act of the NDDC, and so threaten the corporate existence of the commission.

”That as a Union, we say to all political heavy weights from the Niger Delta Region, that enough of putting personal interest over and above the development of the region for which the vehicle of the Niger Delta Development Commission was setup,” Wahid stated.

According to AUPCTRE, however, political gladiators from the region for whatever reasons, ill-advised Buhari to dissolve the board of the commission, and in its place, appointed an Interim Management Committee.

The union said the commission did not fully represent all the NDDC states, a situation that had culminated into anger and lack of support by the aggrieved persons towards successive interim management committees.

”Thus, instead of focusing efforts on driving development of the commission, these committees either fights back or focuses on pacifying the aggrieved stakeholders.

”And since that January 2019 therefore, it has been one interim administration or the other. We, as members of staff, as a union, are saying enough of all these. Let the right thing be done,” AUPCTRE reiterated.

The union also faulted the forensic audit being carried out on the NDDC’s activities.

”Enough of these unending audits which fritter away the funds of the commission.

”A forensic audit, meant to take between three to six  months to complete, but eventually took almost two years to complete, has been undertaken.

”A forensic audit that could have been carried out without suspension of the inauguration of a board, but for some personal reasons, one or two politicians from the Niger Delta Region ill-advised the President against the inauguration of the board.

”At the moment, auditors from the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, have been in the NDDC for about two months auditing the books of the commission, including personnel staff files,” AUPCTRE stated.

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