P/Harcourt – The PanNiger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to alsoturn the searchlight of the forensic audit to the 13% derivation funds given tothe oil producing states.
PANDEF saidthe probe should come after the forensic audit of the Niger Delta DevelopmentCommission (NDDC).
“Wewill appreciate if the 13% derivation paid to the oil producing states of theNiger Delta is also probed by the President”, it said.
PANDEF whichapplauded the guts of President Buhari to call for the probe of the NDDC saidsuch executive order would go a long way to, not just unravel the corruptpractices in the Commission, but instill financial discipline and decorum inthe operations of the interventionist agency.
Speaking inan interview in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, the spokesman of the Forum, ChiefAnabs Sara-Egbe said there was the need for the Governors of the Niger Delta totell Nigerians what they have been doing with the “huge resources accruedto them through the 13% derivations over the years”.
Sara-Egbewho blasted those that call for the removal of the Minister of Niger DeltaAffairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio over his stance on the audit, said such” distractors” were enemies of the Niger Delta region, adding thatthe proposed forensic audit must be carried out to its logical conclusion.
Hereiterated that PANDEF was fully in support of the President’s decision toprobe the Commission, saying that every Niger Delta person who wantsdevelopment of the region should support Akpabio to clean up the age long messthat has made the NDDC what it is today.
The formersecurity adviser however decried the incessant abandonment of projects that haslittered the oil producing region and blamed the unfortunate development onpoor management of the NDDC and other sources of development such as the NigerDelta Ministry and the Amnesty Programme.
“In2004, two major contracts were awarded in Kula community that is the dredgingand sand filling of the waterfront and some major roads. The costs of thoseprojects were put at about N3billion in the time of (Timi) Alaibe. Nothing wasdone after the money was paid.
“The roadthat Belemaoil is presently constructing was also awarded at that time and atalmost the same amount, yet, nothing was done. The money was paid and no dropof sand was seen at sight.
“Todayas we speak, pirates are over running the oil producing communities becausethere is no security there. We have Cawthorn channels 1 and 2 and many flowstations in the oil bearing communities, yet, we have not felt the impact ofthe NDDC or the 13% derivations paid to the State Governors.
“Several oilcompanies are operating in Bills and other oil communities, yet, there is nosecurity for the people or any form of development in those communities wherethousands of crude oil are produced daily. This probe has come at the righttime and it must be extended to other areas that would have added positively tothe infrastructural growth of the region but impoverished by greedy and wickedpeople”.
Sarah-Egbecalled on the people of the Niger Delta region to make good use of theopportunity provided by President Buhari by adding meaningfully to the auditexercise, saying that “the forensic audit of the NDDC is a participatoryexercise. Everybody of goodwill must show sufficient interest”.
He urged theMinister of Niger Delta Ministry to complete the East West road and other majorroads in the region to ease business transactions and free movement ofcommuters.