A coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria have called for the overhauling of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the disbandment of the leadership architecture of the commission.
This was part of the resolutions reached at the end of the meeting of the coalition over the weekend.
The groups said the call is in order to reposition the Commission for efficiency and results, which it was set up to achieve.
They called for the appointment of a new Board and a new crop of principal managers who should be empowered to operate an open-door policy, for the purpose of promoting transparency and public accountability in all affairs of the Commission.
The CSOs in a statement signed by Ken Henshaw of the Centre for Social Studies and Development and twenty-one others said the National Assembly has failed in its oversight function of conducting regular assessment of the work of the Commission, to prevent the monumental infractions which have occurred already.
“That an independent audit team be instituted. This is crucial to have an accurate, unbiased audit report on the financial activities of the Commission. The audit exercise needs to be independent and conclusive, and should also importantly, be a regular exercise in the Commission, going forward, and of which reports should be made publicly available.
“That the Federal Government set up a multi-stakeholder partnership which would include a team of Civil Society Organisations and individuals with a proven track record for integrity, to constantly monitor the activities of the NDDC, including close monitoring of the independent audit exercise, and issue regular reports.
“That the challenge of under-development in the Niger Delta region, be regarded as a national problem; consequently, that a National Day of Action, to stimulate more discourse on the challenges bedevilling the Niger Delta region and proffer lasting solutions to the problems, be declared.
“That the NDDC Act be restructured via an amendment, to better define the mandate of the NDDC and importantly, imbibe and stipulate penalties for non-compliance with the provisions of the Act.
“That the anti-graft agencies be expressly mandated to monitor the financial and procurement activities of the NDDC and promptly act when infractions and illegalities are suspected and committed.