Niger Delta Human rights and environmental rights activist, Ann-Kio Briggs, has demanded the engagement of a reputable audit firm for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Briggs who made the call at the weekend lamented that despite the Niger Delta region being the first geopolitical zone to have development commissions, it has remained underdeveloped.
She said: “We do not want an audit that is done behind closed doors, because they would be doing the audit for the people of the region, not for the National Assembly.”
According to Briggs, the Niger Delta region was the first geopolitical zone to have development commissions, such as the Willinks Commission, Niger Delta River Basin, Oil Minerals Petroleum Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC, and now NDDC, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Presidential Amnesty Programme, yet it has very little to show for it.
The activist added: “The fact is that we want what is right for the Niger Delta region and that is where it begins and ends. The NDDC funding is coming from the Niger Delta. So, if we have an audit, it is public information. The people awarded contracts, who are they? What are the names of their companies? Which contracts were awarded to them? When did they start and finish? Where? In which communities?”
Briggs said politicians should not trade with the provisions of the Act establishing the NDDC, where a position for Bayelsa State should be given to someone from Delta State or vice versa.