According to the speaker, the commission has failed the region in spite of the huge funds available for human development, and hence the parliament needed to take major actions, remove factors that jeopardized the commission’s noble mission.
Gbajabiamila while speaking during an investigative hearing on the allegations against the NDDC, said: “The people of Niger Delta are yet to benefit from the commission which was established 20 years ago.”
He, however, boasted that the thorough investigation will be carried out on the allegations of corruption and malfeasance that have befallen the commission, adding that the government have both a constitutional duty and moral obligation to ensure that the huge sums of funds at the NDDC disposal over the years are appropriately accounted for by those in charge.
He said, “In the over two decades since, that promise has not been kept. Despite its critical importance and the vast sums that have been appropriated by the Federal Government, the Niger Delta of Nigeria continues to score exceptionally low on many of the major human development indices.”
“These statistics reflect the reality of disease and deprivation, lack of opportunity and broken dreams that is the plight of many of our fellow citizens in the region. It is therefore particularly disturbing and quite frankly, embarrassing that every other news report about the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) seems to centre around escalating allegations of corruption and malfeasance.”
He added, “The purpose of this investigative hearing is to ask why the failure persists and to do so with a determination to understand the causes of that failure so that the parliament can act to redeem the NDDC and remove those factors that imperil the commission’s noble mission.”
Gbajabiamila again urged various stakeholders involved to willingly cooperate with the government during the investigation both within the state government and in the local communities.
He said; “I encourage all the stakeholders to consider this investigative hearing as a last-ditch effort to save the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and to engage with this committee in a patriotic partnership to break the jinx of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region.”
In another news, Naija News reported that President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to sack every member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Interim Management Committee (IMC).