The chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Victor Ndoma-Egba, has said the $40 billion injected into the commission in the last 10 years failed to meaningfully impact on the people of oil-producing states.
He said this happened because the master-plan developed for the commission was abandoned immediately the commission was set-up.
He stated this while addressing journalists in Port-Harcourt on the need to critically review the commission’s master plan, in order to strengthen the procurement processes of the commission.
The NDDC chairman also cited so many reasons why over 10,0000 projects were abandoned because of crisis of ownership between the NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the various state governments in the region, adding that the NDDC needed a long-term plan to guard it and focus more as a development agency.
Ndoma-Egba, who noted that the solution to problems of the Niger Delta bordered on development and engagement of the youths, said the present management of NDDC was set to change the narratives of the way things were done in the past, because the Commission was more of a contract awarding institution, with systemic issues, than a development agency.
The NDDC Chairman said: “The Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan (NDRDMP) was developed shortly after establishing the NDDC in 2000, and it was estimated to cost some $50 billion over a 15-year period.
“But nearly 17 years down the line, the master plan was yet to kick-off. Also, the plan’s implementation has been mired in deep controversies between the commission, member-states, oil companies and federal government.
“We must apply the law setting up the Commission, create a synergy with our sister agency, and the various state governments through partnership, in other to enhance the wellbeing of the people. NDDC came out of historic agitation of addressing the problems of the region and creating a regional economy of the people of the Niger Delta,
“We must strengthen our procurement processes to create a regional economy for our region through a long-term plan, because the 15-year master plan was abandoned immediately it was set up.
“There is no doubt that we need to create a long-term framework and an integrated development agency, because the greatest resource of the region is its population. We must work to ensure that the youths of the region take maximum opportunity in ICT, and create an environment for young people to express their talent; most especially in sports and agricultural opportunities.