Ex-Ambassador Toyo calls for replacing NDDC with SDC in each Niger Delta State.
Following the alleged corruption perpetrated by some officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs Nkoyo Toyo, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, has called for the total scrapping of commission.
Speaking during an interview over the weekend, the former Ambassador regretted the unfolding events at the Commission, in respect to the current probe by the National Assembly.
According to her, “We do not need an NDDC for our resources to be managed, rather let us distribute the money to various state development agencies in the region and specifically direct the governors on how the money should be used.
“We don’t need the manager to come in from Abuja and other places to manage our resources which will not give us access to our money, if, for instance, the money meant for Cross River State is sent to the state, let the state work out what to use the money for, not for people to come in from Abuja to manage our resources for us,”
Mrs Toyo said that States in the region should create what she calls State Development Commission (SDC) and the greater part of allocations used for the provision of infrastructural facilities in oil-producing areas while other percentages can go for other areas.
“This should go for infrastructural development such as roads, water and energy and we should talk about the development which will open up the region to the future, not using it to build primary schools, health centres etc. We must close the conduit pipe where this money is abused”, she said.
Ambassador Toyo was surprised that the actors in the crisis are the sons and daughters of the region, “They are not external people and this raised another question about the accountability of the leadership of the region to the region.
“So far, I have not heard any Governor who opened his mouth to condemn what is going on, while the leadership of the region and the key actors have not spoken their minds to condemn what is going on as well as the embarrassing circumstances of NDDC itself.
“This also questions the sensitivity of the region to its own internal corruption and mismanagement of funds. I would agree and concede that these are still allegations but they are very witty allegations and not allegations that can be whisked away because of the amounts of money involved and some people have stepped up to say I did it” She concluded.