MINISTER of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has blamed past failures of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC to deliver on its mandate on corruption and weak political and institutional governance in the region.
Akpabio spoke on Friday while presenting his keynote address at the NDDC strategic capacity building workshop/ retreat with the theme, “NDDC: Collaborating, Planning and Re-strategizing for a better Niger Delta region” held at Ibom Icon Hotel & Golf Resort.
He identified corruption, weak governance and institutional weaknesses, lack of proper synergy as some of the drawbacks of the federal government interventionist agency.
He said transparency and inclusiveness in the commission’s budgeting systems, evaluation and strict monitoring of projects and programmes are necessary for the NDDC to impact meaningfully in the region.
His words, ”Twenty years after the establishment of NDDC, I believe our discussions ought to have been on the successes achieved, and how we can strengthen it to achieve more for the Niger Delta and our people. Sadly, we are still here, at a post-mortem, interrogating the Commission’s setbacks and lost opportunities.
“Sadly, we are still here, sixty-five years later, still looking for a better strategy to ushering the kind of development that sustains our people’s livelihoods and fulfils our shared dream of a better Niger Delta region.
“‘Corruption is one of the greatest problems of the Nigerian society and it also finds its ugly and devastating effects in all sectors of the polity including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
”It has been reported that the level of corruption engulfed all the sectors including government, parastatals, ministries, government officials and community leaders even the youth leaders and NDDC was not left out in the act.
” It is clear that fiscal transparency in budgeting has been compromised, not only by executive overrides but by weak internal mechanisms, which give little or no resistance to overbearing external influences.