The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Monday said that the opaque style adopted by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was not in the interest of the Niger Delta region.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had on Feb, 20, 2023 appointed a five-man Interim Management Committee to run the NDDC before the inauguration of the newly constituted board of the Commision.
The youths noted that the Interim Management Committee was running the interventionist agency set up to accelerate development of the region without the participation of supposed beneficiaries.
IYC position was contained in a statement signed by its Chairman, Transition Implementation Committee, Mr Kennedy Olorogun, Secretary and a member of the committee, Frank Akiefa and James Tobin.
The group said that for instance claimed that it procured medical equipment to tackle Lassa Fever in the Niger Delta area but there was no evidence of such contracts in the region.
Olorogun regretted that successive management of the commission was marred by controversies especially in the area of fund management.
“Recently, the council was alarmed to the effect that under the leadership of Prof. Nelson Brambaifa and Dr Joy Yimebe Nunieh, the commission reportedly, approved the sum of N2.9 bn with an outstanding balance of N972million for the purchase of medical facilities for Lassa Fever kits, Cholera vaccines and Science equipments.
“And the Commission admitted that these items were supplied and distributed to various communities in the region.
“Without mincing words, the council frowns at the opaque manner the management of the commission conducts its activities especially as it relates to the management and distribution of the financial resources meant for the development of the region.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the council is up in arms with the commission on the said humongous funds that was approved by the commission for the purchase of medical items that would have been utilized for the benefit of the people of the region but was fraudulently frittered away by the top echelon of the commission.
“At no time was the council intimated about the activities of the commission with respect to the distribution of medical items for maternity purposes.
“The council has a very efficient and robust administrative structure down to the communities across the states of the Niger Delta.
“Therefore, it is amazing to hear that the commission distributed medical items to aid safe motherhood delivery in the region as a result of a ravaging flood that affected the region” it stated.
Olorogun urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to probe the Lassa fever contract and how the health equipment was disbursed in the region.
The Federal Executive Council had awarded a N318 million contract for a forensic audit of NDDC following allegations of mismanagegemt of development funds.
The report of the audit expected to be concluded in six months is being awaited.
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