One thing that has never been doubted in the history of our existence as a nation is our leaders’ abilities to generate great ideas/formulates policies that will enhance the lots of the citizenries.
But, unfortunately, most of these ideas are never allowed to see the light of day or when allowed, they are mid into their life span derailed by the deconstructionists, political capitalists or those that analysts refer to as the ‘economic termites’.
Such example of a great idea from the government gave birth to what is now known and addressed as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); a body that was created to fast tracks the development of the Niger Delta region/riverine communities.
But as expected, it has been incapacitated by corruption, marred with bureaucracy, pocketed by politicians and the Niger Delta communities not feeling their impacts as they only exist in the cities re-developing the already developed towns; a state of affairs that has compelled critical minds to advocate for its disbandment; a position that we have objectively as a responsible media organization that operates in the region has viewed as it is filled with merit.
To buttress this standpoint, a trip around the riverine communities in the Niger Delta will reveal villages that have in the past decades been greeted with failures of the NDDC to alleviate their real conditions through infrastructural development or empowerment of the people of these communities whose land is being devastated by the activities of the oil mining organizations.
This abandonment is even made worse by the Senator Victor Ndoma Egba led NDDC concentration on, and frantic efforts to redevelop the already developed cities in the region such as Port Harcourt, Warri, Uyo, Asaba, and others with the sole aim of gaining media accolades while deceiving the unsuspecting public.
The news organization has equally received and reported such incidence where the body executes some road projects not because of its economic viability or usefulness to the vast majority of the Niger Deltans, but simply because it’s a road leading to one of the public office holders house while abandoned projects litter the interior parts of the region with riverine dwellers left to navigate their marshy foot paths. Such in our views is not the spirit behind the establishment of the body.
In the light of the above, the GbaramatuVoice calls on the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to urgently have the body called NDDC scrapped as it only exists in the frame, and as an alternative to take the following steps to make the government’s impact be felt in the region.
Also, as it has been argued in time past by well-meaning and notable Nigerians that Niger Delta does not need any ministry or commission to be developed, just like Lagos and Abuja were developed by any special ministry; so is GbaramatuVoice echoing the same line of argument.
Ministry of the Niger Delta and NDDC in our views and to that of the discerning minds, remains a source of distraction to the development of the region and a conduit whereby the funds allotted for the region’s development is syphoned.
Against this backdrop, the newspaper will support the table of ideology as canvassed in different quarters that the Federal Government should tow the part of direct community engagements where the FG works directly with community development association.
Fresh in our memories is the Chevron Nigerian community development engagement template which many communities in the region have adjudged to be working. It will, therefore, not be out of place for the government to adopt such or have it modified to suit its purpose.