The federal government established the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2000 to develop the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
One of the Commission’s main missions is to train and educate young people in the Niger Delta’s oil-rich regions in order to combat conflicts and militancy while also constructing vital infrastructure to boost diversification and production.
The following are the other mandates:
- Develop policies and guidelines for the development of the Niger Delta region.
Design, planning, and implementation of sustainable development projects and programs in the Niger Delta area, including roads, jetties, and waterways, health, employment, industrialization, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity, and telecommunications, in accordance with established rules and regulations.Investigate the Niger Delta to see what steps need to be taken to boost its physical and socioeconomic development.Prepare master plans and blueprints to aid in the physical development of the Niger Delta region as well as the Commission’s member states’ estimates.
Implementation of all initiatives agreed by the Federal Government and the Commission for the development of the Niger Delta region.
Identify the factors impeding the development of the Niger Delta region and support Member States in developing and implementing policies to ensure the region’s resources are managed responsibly and efficiently.
Evaluate and report on any project sponsored or carried out in the region by oil and gas firms or other corporations, including non-governmental organizations, and ensure that monies released for such projects are used appropriately.
Address ecological and environmental challenges originating from petroleum mineral exploitation in the Niger Delta region, as well as advise the federal government and member states on the prevention and control of oil spills, gas flaring, and environmental pollution.
On all aspects of pollution, prevention, and control, communicate with the various oil, mineral, and gas exploration and production businesses.
Execute these other works and perform these other responsibilities that the Commission deems important for the long-term development of the Niger Delta region and its people.
The executive chairmanship of the NDDC has been a hot topic of discussion. The position will be assigned in alphabetical order among the nine oil-producing states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers.
However, the council has not met since the last council was disbanded in January 2020 to allow for a forensic inquiry.
The House of Representatives called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the Niger Delta Development Commission’s board of directors on June 10. (NDDC).
Lawmakers encouraged the government to nominate the Chairman of the Delta State Commission, the Director General of Ondo State, and the Executive Director of Edo State Finance and Administration in accordance with Articles 4 and 12 (1) of the NDDC Act.
Following debate, the House voted to urge the federal government to comply with section 4 of the NDDC Act of 2000 by considering the Delta State, which is next in alphabetical order, for the position of chairman of the board of directors
To urge the federal government to consider the states of Ondo, Edo, and Imo for the positions of Director General, Executive Director of Finance and Administration, and Executive Director of Council Projects, in accordance with Article 12 (1) of the NDDC Act.
Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the former Executive Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) project, is the first candidate proposed by Delta State stakeholders. He is a certified medical practitioner and a former member of the Delta House of Representatives. He hails from Ika in the south of the state.
In 1985, he received his Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS) from the University of Benin, and in 2019, he ran for Governor of Delta.
Between 2007 to 2011, he served as the National Assembly’s Presidential Liaison Officer and Special Assistant to the President.
He has also served as Chairman of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and as the APC’s Presidential Campaign Council Delta’s Presidential Spokesman.
As executive director of the NDDC project, Ojougboh initiated pre-payment project verification, which enraged several dishonest contractors and energy brokers in the area.
The majority of Delta stakeholders who talked to the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) thought Ojougboh was the finest candidate for the NDDC board chairmanship.
According to them, his favor stems from his pragmatic attitude as well as his skill and willingness to lead the commission in the best interests of the whole Niger Delta community.
However, a member of the Senate leadership who wishes to remain nameless emphasized that any presidential contender would be considered on their own merits.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs had already given Ojougboh’s name as the favored candidate for the position at a stakeholder meeting, according to the source.
This was cheered, according to the source, because there was no one who disagreed.
Bernard Okumagba, a purebred technocrat and administrator, is the second candidate to be presented. He hails from Delta State’s Warri South Local Government Area, which is part of the Delta South Senate District.
From August 2007 to November 2010, he served as Delta State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget. From November 2010 to May 2011, he served as Finance Commissioner.
Okumagba is a member of the All Progressives Congress representing Delta State’s Warri South Local Government Area.
The appointment of one of these two people from Delta State would be a quick proactive approach to deal with the different problems and prevent any unrest that might occur as a result of the NDDC board’s absence of members.
Former Nigerian statesman Edwin Clark told the Nigerian News Agency that both candidates must be carefully chosen, with all factors taken into account in order to provide the people with an acceptable candidate.
“Both people involved are from my state and are my children, but all I’m interested in is that a board of directors is being inaugurated for the commission.
The commission’s new board of directors, according to Clark, is critical to fulfilling its objective of having a positive impact on the lives of individuals in the area.
Clark expressed hope that a new board of directors will give a more acceptable audit of the commission’s forensic audit, which was launched by Ojougboh to verify projects before payments are issued.
He remarked that the forensic audit, which was not warmly embraced by some state energy brokers and unscrupulous contractors, had sucked up so much money.