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Gov Dickson accuses NDDC of diverting project money to finance elections



GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION: Bayelsans are doubting INEC's impartiality - Dickson

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Friday told the acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Professor Nelson Braimbraifa, that the commission was diverting money meant for projects to fund elections of ruling political parties in the country.

A statement by Dickson’s Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei explained that the Governor spoke while receiving Braimbraifa, and a high-powered team from the commission at the Government House, Yenagoa.

The governor said that such practice had hampered the commission’s capacity to actualize its mandate of bringing development to oil-producing communities.

He said: The NDDC is not a body that should be left on its own in doing all kinds of things at its whims and caprices as it pleases.

“It is a very serious body. It is a mechanism already designed in the legislation for the involvement of other stakeholders and the most important stakeholders are the governors of the oil-producing states.

“We want to see the NDDC fulfilling its maximum potentials and it has not been able to do this as a result of the deliberate politicization of the NDDC.

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“The Commission contrary to its founding principles has become some political fund at the whims and caprices of those who control the federal government.

“The NDDC funds are channeled for elections, into all kinds of activities other the main reason for which it was set up.

“That is very unfortunate and that has limited the capacity of the body to impact maximally the challenges of the region which I find very appalling.

“But it is something that all stakeholders need to sit down to seriously address. I listened to your call for collaboration for us to get the N1.9 trillion that you have said is owed.

“But as we join hands to ask that all funds owed the NDDC be paid, we should equally join hands to demand for accountability, demand that projects that are conceived are not ones designed for power brokers but projects that really have the capacity to impact on the communities in need of development and so I call for a new approach.

In his remarks, Braimbraifa expressed the commission’s desire to build synergy with the state government to ensure human capital and infrastructural development.

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