President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday has expressed regret that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was unable to deliver its mandates due to mismanagement in the past.
Buhari also disclosed that law enforcement agencies have recovered over N3.7billion as well as various assets worth billions of Naira from contractors and former directors of NDDC.
The President made the disclosure at the inauguration of NDDC Advisory Committee, comprising the 9 Governors of the Niger Delta Region and the Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs and Environment.
President Buhari said: ‘‘To date, the EFCC and other agencies of Government have recovered over N3.7billion in cash as well as various assets worth billions of Naira from some contractors and former Directors of the Commission.
‘‘Furthermore, I am told that Government agencies have placed liens on over N6 billion of assets which are being investigated.’’
The President told the committee that these abuses of the past clearly show the need for strict and diligent oversight, going forward.
He, therefore, charged them to discharge the new assignment diligently and effectively, working closely with the relevant ministries, adding that he looked forward to seeing positive changes in the affairs of the Commission as well as on the ground in the Niger Delta region.
“The people of the Niger Delta were left with abandoned infrastructural projects and substandard social programmes which were designed to improve their living conditions.
‘‘It is to reverse this trend that I approved, in February 2020, the constitution of a 10-Man Presidential Monitoring Committee (PMC) as provided for in Section 21 of the NDDC Establishment Act.’’
He noted that the PMC, which will be chaired by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and its members drawn from various MDAs, will focus on monitoring the operations and activities of the commission, and will be reporting to him.