The Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI) has advised National Assembly leadership to encourage the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to conduct forensic audit of the commission.
Chief Dennise Aghanya, Executive Secretary of the organization made this call in a statement yesterday, in Abuja.
“This call is in line with our goal, which is to ensure leaderships devoid of corruption for the benefit of the society.
‘As a result, we are urging the two chambers of the National Assembly to support the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC, with Dr Gbene Nunieh as the Acting Managing Director, for the Forensic audit.
“This was purely an assignment President Buhari mandated them to carry out through the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio’’, Aghanya said.
The executive secretary said the organisation had written letters to the leadership of the two chambers of the national assembly informing them why it was imperative to allow the interim committee to conduct the audit.
Aghanya said the support of the legislature was necessary to deflate series of accusations and counter accusations by the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly against both the committee and NDDC management.
“The common denominator for all the parties involved in the squabble is that there is urgent need to curb the monumental fraud being perpetuated in the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) since its inception.
“ In demonstration of this, a three-man Interim Management Committee, with Dr Gbene Nunieh as the Acting Managing Director, was appointed to oversee the activities of the commission and to carry out a forensic audit.
“Before now, there was a Board earlier appointed by Mr president to manage the commission. Members were screened and approved by the Senate but the president in his wisdom did not inaugurate the members.
“Also, as part of the oversight function of the National Assembly, the two chambers expressed the desire to coordinate a forensic investigation into the finances of the Commission since its establishment, he said.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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