NDDC Crisis: A failed Commission and a determined President


Have you heard of the NDDC saga? It was mind-blowing when I heard about the arrest of the EFCC chairman by DSS. It shows a failed society that needs divine intervention to be better, how do I cover my face from this shame? The person that is supposed to arrest and investigate financial crimes is the criminal, this is so bad and doesn’t speak well of our society that was and is still decaying.

NDDC crisis

How do we hide from the tags from other nations? We are just known for corruption and it seems our leaders are so comfortable with this. The investigation of the suspended Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu is now a trend on both local and international news and also the issue of the Nigerian Influencer Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas is accused by FBI, Interpol and Dubai police Of Money Laundering, engagement in cyber crimes and this is a big deal for Nigerians as their trust is being questioned daily.

A friend of mine was applying to study in one of the European countries and on clicking on the link he saw that Nigerians were excluded, it didn’t end their they specifically painted it on his face that we are known for corruption, this is not just a case of one rejection there are many too numerous to be mentioned. It is a shame that our elders and even some youths are depriving us of beautiful opportunities with their show of irresponsibility. 

The tussle between the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the former interim managing director, Joy Nunieh , as they exchange words and apportioned blames on each other. The blockage of her private resident and her accusations on the Minister to be behind it. The look of disappointment from the people, as they lament over the failures of the commission, how nothing has changed even when the commission is headed by their own. 

The Niger Delta Development Commission is a federal government agency established by the former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in the year 2000, and it is over 20 years already after the creation of this body, there are intricacies after the establishment on the sole aim of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria and how it has made the vision unrealistic and impossible.

The aim of the leaders has changed as they rather defraud and embezzle funds that are supposed to be for the growth of the Niger Delta people. In September 2008 when President  Umaru Musa Yar’Adua announced the formation of the Agency with the Niger Delta Development Commission to become a body under the ministry to ensure execution of the goodwill for the Niger Delta society, I believe he had a vision for the society but the leadership that accommodated the Niger Deltans have failed the people.

A very important reason for the formation of this Commission is to train and educate the youths of Niger Delta regions and to reduce militancy in the Niger Delta region and for the development of the Niger Delta communities. Having a more productive and developed Niger Delta with opportunities for the people especially the youths was the dream but why isn’t this realized? The big question. 

The deal was for us to have a new perception about the Niger Delta society and how it can actually be a better place for the people. The NDDC was formed to ensure planning and implementation, with compliance to set rules and regulations, of projects and programs for sustainable development of the Niger Delta area  especially in areas like transportation including roads, jetties and waterways, health, employment, industrialization, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development of this society. 

We could draw stories of different disheartening incidents in the Niger Delta regions but let’s start with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) a militant group in Nigeria’s Niger Delta that publicly announced their existence in March 2016, this group has attacked oil producing facilities in Niger Delta, causing the shutdown of oil terminals and a fall in Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level in twenty years. This really is sad, because they said they are educated people but with unworkable strategies, not disregarding their vision but the process didn’t yield fruit. 

The NDA’s declared aim is to create a sovereign state in the Niger Delta and have threatened to disrupt Nigeria’s economy if their aim is not met. They did this and to a large extent the economy was disrupted and budgets destroyed, but did they achieve the sovereign state? No! All they achieved is the name NDA entering the hall of fame and forcing young scholars to study about them in school. At a very tender age I was thought about the Niger Delta militancy and amnesty grant. There is a lot to be said, history to be enacted but let’s just concentrate on the present issues between the federal government, NDDC and the people. 

So I saw a tweet from @Muhammed Buhari, let’s just believe it actually came from our president, because I don’t know what or who to believe anymore, a lot of internet fraudsters on the net, people creating accounts and causing propagandas.  The tweet from the president states “I am determined to get to the root of the problem undermining the development of the Niger Delta, in spite of the enormous national resources dedicated to this annually. This administration remains committed to bringing rapid, even and sustainable development to the region and all investigating agencies and auditing firms currently working collaboratively with National Assembly Committees to audit and reposition, the NDDC must act with urgency and a sense of purpose, and ensure that I am kept informed of any and all actions being taken”.  Nice statement from the president. 

This coming from the president is unbelievable, for most Nigerians, it can’t be our president they said. The reaction from this post made me wonder about the future of the next generation if they keep apportioning blames, and not believing that there is hope for Nigeria, if we all change our perceptions and start acting right. I know my parents wished for a better Nigeria for me. They never achieved it and I became an adult, thought about my own future but it appears to me that a better Nigeria is for the generations to come. I don’t mind if I don’t have a taste of Nigeria . All I care about is that one day a better Nigeria would be offered. 

Nigerians as usual blamed the president for the failures with their tweets, but failed to see that we all have a role to play in this. How do we explain having someone from your region who is the minister, but did nothing to ensure development for the Niger Delta society. The commission wasn’t set-up for a few privileged people. It was set-up for the downtrodden Niger-Deltans but what do we see? People allocating and embezzling funds meant for the improvement of the region. Yet they blame the president even when allocations have been made?

Some Niger Deltans are wishing that the oil dries up so everyone relaxes  from this struggle but this really is funny because these guys are overly dependent on oil to survive the reason they do all sorts of things. To be frank most Niger Deltans are not  ready to venture into anything else which is also one of the reasons for the wars. Everyone is just paying attention to oil wealth even though the government is introducing new ways for us to be productive. 

Maybe it’s time for restructuring, it’s time to remove those in the ministry and replace them with new people who are supposed to be accountable to the people and the government and I also support this mandate from the president “I have made it clear to the National Assembly and our investigating and law enforcement agencies to pursue better coordination in their work so that the shared goal of ensuring sanity, transparency, and accountability of dedicated funds can be achieved”. A better Nigeria I stand.


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