OrderPaperToday – Oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta region under the aegis of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) have proposed the scrapping of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
This is due to several years of non-performance and not adequately take care of the needs of citizens and residents in oil producing states.
President, National Executive of HOSTCOM, High Chief Benjamin Tamaranebi, stated this on Tuesday while speaking with Journalists at the second day of the Senate Public hearing of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Recall that the management of the NDDC have been enmeshed in corruption allegations which led to investigation in both federal chambers of the National Assembly.
This is amidst frequent changes of the management of the Commission, including the sack of the Interim Management Committee led by Prof. Keme Pondei.
A report by OrderPaper Nigeria looked into series of allegations raised in an Investigative hearing conducted by the Senate on the NDDC in 2020.
For Tamaranebi, the NDDC should be replaced by a Host Communities Development Commission.
He said: “To be frank and sincere, that is my wish. Because they are not performing. NDDC has been there for about 20 years and nothing of good importance has been impacted in communities through it.
“Then why do you keep it there. Scrap it and form Host Communities Development Commission – where host communities will come in and that is the basis. Let our people, whom we trust, handle it. If you’re not doing well, we’ll hold you responsible for it.
“These funds do not get down to the communities. It has always been hijacked by political groups or parties. NDDC is there, amnesty is there, there is even the Ministry of Niger Delta established by Yar’Adua. All these interventions are not significant to the communities.
“The communities are still in a deplorable form. No development, no light. Imagine a place where billions of dollars are being pumped out and there’s no light, no health center, nothing.
“The issue of gas flaring is another thing that kills our people slowly. And the government is collecting the funds without remitting to the people. These are the issues.
“If these funds are directly given to the host communities…we know our pains, every community knows what to do and that’s whay we will do. Like what happened in the NDDC is an example. They keep the money and be milking it while the communities are dying slowly.”
Asked why agitating Niger Deltans do not hold those ’embezzling’ funds responsible, he said: “The people of Niger Delta cannot hold them responsible because we did not appoint them. If we appoint a person and they fail or under perform, we will know how to punish them appropriately.”