• Tue. Sep 20th, 2022

Save Niger Delta Commission, says group in Buhari, others

ByChad J. Johnson

Aug 14, 2022

The Merged Union of Public Enterprises, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Employees called on Sunday for the swearing in of the board of directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The union’s general secretary, Sikiru Wahid, made the call in a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday.

Wahid said the call became imperative to save the commission from destruction.

He therefore called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired), Senate Speaker, Ahmed Lawan and other stakeholders to take urgent measures to ensure that the NDDC fulfills its mandate.

“As critical stakeholders of the Niger Delta Development Commission and regional development efforts, having critically reviewed and assessed all events within and around the NDDC since January 2019, we have made the following decisions:

“That we, as NDDC personnel, collectively under the AUPCTRE umbrella, cannot fold our hands as various political actors in the region by their actions or inactions undermine the NDDC’s enabling law, and threaten thus the corporate existence of the commission.

“That as a Union we say to all the political heavyweights in the Niger Delta region, enough to put self-interest above and above the development of the region for which the vehicle of the Niger Delta Development Commission has been set up,” Wahid said.

According to AUPCTRE, however, the political gladiators in the region, for whatever reason, ill-advised Buhari to disband the board of the commission and, in its place, appointed an interim management committee.

The union said the commission did not fully represent all NDDC states, a situation that had resulted in aggrieved anger and lack of support for successive interim management committees.

“So instead of focusing their efforts on driving the development of the commission, these committees are fighting back or focusing on pacifying aggrieved stakeholders.

And since this month of January 2019, it has been one or the other of the interim administrations. We as staff, as a union, say enough. May the right thing be done,” AUPCTRE reiterated.

The union also criticized the forensic audit carried out on the activities of the NDDC.

“Enough of these endless audits that waste commission funds.

“A forensic audit, supposed to take between three and six months, but which ultimately took almost two years, was undertaken.

“A forensic audit that could have been done without a suspension of the inauguration of a council, but for personal reasons, one or two politicians from the Niger Delta region badly advised the president against the inauguration of the council .

“At the moment, auditors from the office of the Federation Auditor General have been at the NDDC for about two months to audit the books of the commission, including personnel records,” AUPCTRE said.