NDDC: Policy Alert Chides Akwa Ibom APC

UYO/AKWA IBOM STATE – Policy Alert, a non-governmental organisation working for social, economic and environmental justice in the Niger Delta region, has described the recent call by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to build a secretariat for the party as “self-serving, uncharitable, and preposterous.”

In a statement released this morning and signed by the organisation’s Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Officer, Nneka Luke, the organisation asked the Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Barr. Effiong Akwa, to resist the temptation to misuse his office as a result of partisan pressures.

The statement read: “The NDDC was established to facilitate speedy, equitable and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region in the face of the region’s peculiar ecological characteristics and the social and environmental injustices that have trailed oil and gas production in the Niger Delta over the years. However, in the last twenty years of its existence, the Commission has failed woefully to fulfill this mandate, a situation worsened by recent corruption scandals. We therefore find it self-serving, uncharitable, and preposterous for the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the ruling APC to ask the Interim Administrator to “utilize his office to remodel the party secretariat.” This is the kind of rotten, fraudulent and dangerously partisan thinking that has institutionalized corruption at the Commission and undermined its efficiency over the years.

“We call on the Interim Administrator to resist the temptation to sacrifice the mandate of the Commission and the development of Niger Delta citizens on the altar of partisan sentiments. What we expect from stakeholders including political parties at this time is to support the Interim Administration with ideas to improve the transparency, accountability, and efficiency of the Commission, rather than ideas that will reinforce the corrupt and inefficient status quo” the statement continued.

Policy Alert observed that transparency and accountability in the management of resources accruing to the agency is of great importance to citizens of the Niger Delta, and called on the NDDC to immediately begin publishing a quarterly expenditure report and details of all awarded and implemented contracts in machine-readable format on a publicly accessible portal. The organization reminded Akwa that using public funds meant for development of the region to satisfy partisan interests would amount to abuse of office and a violation of the oath he took to deliver on the core mandate of the agency, adding that Nigerian citizens are watching.

The statement from Policy Alert came on the heels of media reports of a stakeholders meeting of the APC in Akwa Ibom State last Sunday where the state chairman of the party called on “the sole administrator of the interventionist agency to utilize his office to remodel the party secretariat.”


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