By Osa Okhomina, Yenagoa
The special assistant on youth matters to the sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Orusakwe Aseimiegha, has clarified the delay in the submission of the forensic audit report on the projects and finances of the commission.
He said the audit was ordered by the federal government because of its interest in the development of Niger Delta region.
Aseimiegha spoke yesterday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during an interactive session with the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), MOSIEND, Persons with Physical Disability and representatives of peace advocacy groups. The aide said upon completion, the forensic audit would provide answers to several questions and create a framework for reversing the failures of the past.
He stated that he was in the state to sensitise the stakeholders including officials of the Bayelsa Ministry of Youths, noting that while the NDDC may have recorded marginal success in both human and physical development, political interference, systemic distortions, uncoordinated project implementation, institutional constraints, lack of focus, high overhead costs, absence of consensus building and endemic corruption constricted the capacity of the commission to deliver on its core mandate.
“While convincing the youths on the need to sustain the existing peaceful atmosphere and shun violence, there is the need to correct the anomalies through a comprehensive overall and re-engineering of the entire process. This led to the commencement of the forensic audit of the finances and projects of the commission.
“When completed, the audit will plug the gaps and stop the waste that is keeping the region underdeveloped. The sole administrator is with a clear mandate of supervising the implementation of the forensic audit exercise with a view to repositioning the commission to make it more functional and responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the region,” he said.
On the 30-day ultimatum given to the federal government by IYC to constitute the substantive board of the NDDC, the tenure of the sole administrator and submission of the forensic audit report, he called on the youths to have a rethink and focus on constructive engagement with the federal government to ensure that the outcome would be in the interest of the region.