Communique of the Regional Accountability Conference 2022: Beyond the Forensic Audit – Repositioning the Niger Delta Development Commission for Inclusive and Effective Service Delivery
Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) with support from the MacArthur Foundation successfully organized the 2022 Regional Accountability Conference with the theme, Beyond the Forensic Audit – Repositioning the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for inclusive and effective service delivery. The conference, which was held at Visa Karena Hotels, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday, February 24, 2022, was attended by various stakeholders from anti-corruption agencies and committees, traditional rulers, civil society groups, community groups, and the Media.
Group picture of members of the Rivers Anti-corruption network with The EFFC boss and their public relations office
Findings of investigations carried out on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) initiated by the legislative and executive arms of the federal government of Nigeria indicate a high rate of corruption evident in contract racketeering, payments for fictitious contracts, award and payment for ridiculous staff bonuses and project abandonment, to mention a few. Despite the huge sums of money released to the NDDC as an intervention agency since its inception, the Niger Delta communities continue to experience a steady decline in social and economic standards.
Figure 1 Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning
As the effect of covid-19 pandemic on global economy bites harder, Nigeria is not exempted, the economy hugely financed from sale of crude continues to face an unsustainable long-term fiscal decline based on the imbalance between paucity of revenue and large deficit spending. While this is the reality, both spending and revenue imbalance can get worse with unfettered corruption and poor fiscal policy decisions.
All is not well in many Niger Delta communities as they increasingly suffer environmental degradation and its attending consequences. Citizens have been stripped of their means of livelihood due to incessant pollution resulting from crude extraction activities.