08 August 2012, Sweetcrude, UGHELLI—COALITION of Coastal/Swampy Oil Producing Communities of Bayelsa and Delta States have urged the National Assembly not to approve the 2012 budget of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, pending the satisfactory evaluation of the 2011 budget of the commission.
The group, in a letter to both chambers of the National Assembly by its chairman, Mr. Francis Amamogian and others, told the lawmakers to urgently constitute an independent panel to evaluate the implementation of the commission’s 2011 budget.
It alleged that the activities of the managing director of the Commission, Dr. Christian Oboh, negated the “provision of section 7 (1) (b) of the NDDC Act, which states that the commission ought to conceive plans and implement same in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for sustainable development of Niger Delta areas in the fields of transportation including roads, jetties, water-ways, health, education, employment, industrialisation and others.”
The group said in the letter: “We are aware that the 2012 budget of NDDC is due for consideration before the National Assembly and we are also aware that the interest of our communities is not satisfactorily represented in the said budget within the purview of section 7(2) of the NDDC Act.
“In this regard, we are ready to challenge the said budget and we are opposed to the passage of same in its current form.
“We, as accredited representatives of our communities have the duty and mandate to protect the rights of our people. It must be noted that we have a right to a clean and safe environment and also to enjoy our God given natural resources.”