The Niger Delta Ex-Agitator Forum (NDEF) has expressed support for ongoing reforms aimed at re-positioning the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the present management.
The NDEF in a statement issued on Monday in Yenagoa by its President, Prince Amaibi Hornby, applauded the Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba-led new board of NDDC for initiating a 21-point focus of direction at NDDC.
The group noted that the recent redeployment of 11 directors and ongoing internal investigations of corruption allegations in NDDC were signs of a committed leadership.
“We believe that these are moves that will eventually refocus the commission to its original mandate.
“The reform will make NDDC the vehicle to bring development and peace to the troubled Niger Delta and restore the confidence of the entire nation in the commission especially at this challenging time.
“This will also entrench transparency and enable the commission get necessary and important support from stakeholders,” NDEF stated.
The group further stated that NDDC’s partnership with the Bureau for Public Service Reforms, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Open Government Partnership, would better establish transparency in the commission.
NDEF on the other hand, condemned the recent reports that the NDDC was purchasing cars at the expense of developing the Niger Delta oil communities when investigations showed that NDDC was yet to even get approval to acquire operational vehicles.
The group dismissed the report as attempts to blackmail and arm-twists the management of the commission.
“The ugly situations in the past where people used blackmail and force of coercion to get what they want in the NDDC should stop as it was a major contributory factor to the woeful performances of the commission in the past.
“The Senator Victor Ndoma Egba-led management board should be supported by all and sundry to reform the commission and achieve concrete results for the good of all.
“The present management board is made up of credible people from the Niger Delta, who have served the public in the past with proven integrity and in various capacities with unquestionable reputations.
“Resorting to forces of blackmailing and coercion will never help us – Information should be thoroughly investigated before allegations are made.
“Let us all support this new management of the NDDC to chart a new course for the commission and not to blackmail them,” NDEF said.