The Founding Fathers of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have expressed full support to the Niger Delta Minister Senator Godswill Akpabio on his action of setting up an Interim Management Committee for the Commission.
At a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday Prof Jasper Jumbo, who wrote the blue print for the establishment of both NDDC and its predecessor OMPADEC said that the founding fathers have no doubt that the Dr. Joy Nunieh-led Interim Management Committee will do a good job of attending to the needs of the long suffering people of the Region.
They observed that in the past few years, politicians had used the commission as a cash cow to further their political interests and warned those of them that wish to realize various political ambitions in 2023 General Election putting the use of the NDDC in their calculations that they will be vehemently resisted by the youths of the Niger Delta.
Prof Jumbo advised the leaders of Ijaw Youth Congress who called for the sack of the Niger Delta Affairs Minister to tread softly as the Commission had many challenges and obstacles that required an outstanding political leader with pedigree of the caliber of Senator Akpabio to tackle. He called on the Federal Government to ensure that the Forensic Audit of the Commission from 2001 – 2019 should be conducted by knowledgeable professionals who should do a thorough job without any outside interference, in order that the nation will know exactly the degree of corrupt practices, number of abandoned projects and how billions of naira went down the drain instead of alleviating the sufferings of the Niger Delta people.
He further advised that instead of awarding contracts to the youths for water hyacinth cleaning, they should be trained in skills acquisition and given take off grants to establish small scale industries.