Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The umbrella body for oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region, Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) has assured President Muhammadu Buhari of the support of all stakeholders in the region in his quest to probe the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
HOSCON said the support of the stakeholders was as a result of the fact that there was nothing to show for the huge funds that have accrued to the commission since its establishment.
The group, led by Dr Mike Emuh as its National Chairman, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative, adding that such a bold step will cure the madness and embezzlement of public funds at NDDC.
In a statement, signed by its National Director of Media and Publicity, Okakuro Monday Whiskey, the group said the commission’s performance had been far below the amount that had been expended on projects in the region.
“For 19 years, billions of naira has been allocated without commensurate infrastructural facilities to show for it” it stated.
HOSCON stated that President Muhammadu Buhari should also investigate how states governors in the region spent 13 per cent Derivation Funds meant for the development of their respective states, accusing the governors of allegedly embezzling such funds.
The statement read in parts, “For the Niger Delta Governors whose management of 13 percent derivation fund is today generating a lot of controversy because of huge mismanagement and outright embezzlement of fund meant for human capital and infrastructural development of their respective states to want to tell the President on how to appoint people into NDDC is most uncharitable and unbecoming of them.
“HOSCON will want Mr. President to urgently redirect the management of 13percent derivation fund as the current governors’ management efforts is more bedevilled with fraud than is currently obtained in the NDDC.
“HOSCON believes that redirection of 13percent derivation fund remain the only solution to the multi trillion fraud that occurred in the current management regime of 13percent derivation fund. Just like the NDDC, 13percent derivation fund has received over N44trillion in the past nineteen years and if we want to be fare to ourselves we should be bold enough to say nothing tangible is on ground to justify the huge allocation”, it added.
While commending President Buhari on the action, it pledged to support the activities of the committee to be set to ensure that real development takes place in the region.
It further added, “We should support this bold initiative of President Mohammadu Buhari to ensure that the right things are done now to guarantee a better future for the rich oil/gas region.
“NDDC fund, just like 13percent fund, are not free money that some few individuals can appropriate to themselves without questioning or check. A new Sheriff is indeed coming to town”, it stated.