President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has been called upon to scrap the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) for allegedly taking advantage of the masses.
Isah Abubakar, National President, Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and Chairman, Nigeria Citizen Action Group (NCAG), in a statement issued on Monday in Kaduna, said, “We advise that Mr President to as a matter of urgency immediately scrap these two commissions so as to stop few from taking advantage of the masses.”
He also advised the government to merge agencies, Ministries and commissions to cut costs and reduce corruption.
“With the audit of the NDDC, one will not hesitate to say that if a similar committee is set to investigate the NEDC, both will have little or no difference. The two commissions are never needed if all government agencies are very proactive, effective and transparent in their responsibilities.
“It’s a fact that from 2000 till date, over 20 trillion Naira have been looted in NDDC alone; this quantum amount of money can transform a Nation, not Region. Only 1.1% of the total population of that region benefit from this corrupt setting of government,” the statement explained.
Meanwhile, a coalition of Civil Society Groups, New Nigeria Transparency and Anti-Corruption (CNNTAC) also sounded the alarm over alleged corruption rocking the newly established North East Development Commission.
The group in a statement issued by its secretary Tijjani Umar noted, that if the high handedness of corruption in the NEDC is left unchecked, the commission is at the brink of collapsing. “This is due to unbridled high-level corruption,” said Tijjani in the statement which tasks the Presidency and the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to intervene.
While calling on President Buhari to look into the books of the commission with the view to halting the frightening profligacy in the commission, the secretary said the group was speaking on behalf of millions of displaced widows, orphans and refugees scattered across the North-east region.
The group who accused the Managing Director (MD) of the commission, Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali, of displaying a notorious disdain for due process, transparency and the rule of law, further sighted illegal award of over-inflated contracts running into billions of naira by the MD of the commission without recourse to the board of the commission as stipulated by law.
The group wondered how close to 100 billion naira that accrued to the commission barely one year ago has been squandered frivolously without any concrete impact on the suffering refugees of the North East.
The anti-corruption group pointed at an instance a few weeks ago where the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs in collaboration with the MD of the commission illegally took about 5 billion naira in the name of “purchasing vehicles for the military “, which is completely out of the scope of the commission’s duties which borders only on refugees activities.
Comrade Umar said the group was on ground in Maiduguri and obtained evidence of massive inflation of prices of the vehicles.