22 September 2011
In Editorial ..
THE third Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under the chairmanship of Air Vice-Marshal Larry Koinyan was finally dissolved on September 13, 2011, after an intractable and distracting power play, petition writing and allegations of misdemeanour among the top echelon of the commission.
Among those affected were the third substantive Managing Director of the Commission, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwuoha, who was appointed on August 6, 2009 and the Executive Director Projects (EDP), Mr. Iniobong Esok Etteh, who engaged him in a superiority contest.
It is, therefore, our contention that NDDC should be insulated from political influences and manipulations if it is to make any meaningful contribution in the socio-economic development of the region.
There is the need to take a second look at the NDDC manual and streamline its content with the goals of the PPA, as the existence of both documents has created parallel powers and perhaps put two captains in one ship. As an agency of the federal government, we expect NDDC to comply with federal law, rules and regulations but this must not be at the expense of the internal dynamics of the organisations which must meet with local needs.
Again, we believe that the NDDC master plan is too omnibus as it has made the agency an octopus. There is the need to streamline its project focus as it cannot replace elected governments. Another area of concern is the tendency by the elders and elite to regard NDDC as an appeasement .package designed to contain loquacious individuals in the region. This must stop. There is need to study the PTF model and reform NDDC to operate with corporate best practices so that its impact could be visible and less political.
The NDDC must be made to present accounts of its expenditures to the public while the oversight functions should not be limited to lawmakers who see the agency as an open window for graft. We strongly ask the traditional rulers, public officers and oil companies in the region to limit their activities to promotion of a conducive atmosphere for development rather than becoming obstacle.
In appointing the next crop of officers the President should place more emphasis on known performers and people of integrity to reduce the scandals that bedevils the Commission’s Board.