Niger Delta women tell Tinubu to publish forensic investigation on NDDC.

President Bola Tinubu has been urged by female Niger Delta leaders of ethnic nationalities to release the findings of the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The delegation’s leader, Ann-Kio Briggs, made the request during a Monday interactive discussion in Port Harcourt with Samuel Ogbuku, the managing director of NDDC.

The women leaders came from a various ethnic organizations, non-governmental organizations, community and faith-based groups, civil society organizations, and market women.

President Muhammadu Buhari established the forensic audit of the NDDC in 2021 to look into the operation of the interventionist organization from its founding to August 2019.

But even after the procedure was over, the administration has been mum about when Nigerians will be able to access the forensic report.

Briggs argued that it was unacceptable that the report of a forensic audit of NDDC’s financial operations had taken so long to be released.

She said, “The women of the Niger Delta are not happy that the forensic audit report of the NDDC has not been published.

“We wish to remind President Bola Tinubu that the report of the forensic audit under the previous government is unacceptably unavailable to the public.

“Also, we can no longer ignore the fact that NDDC is owed huge monies running into billions and trillions of naira,” she said.

According to Briggs, the commission’s capacity to operate at its best has been constrained by the ongoing delay in the money’s disbursement.

Despite standing with the men in the fight for justice, equity, accountability, and the development of the community, she claimed that women in the area had been severely ignored.

“Suffice to add that the Niger Delta women have not had their rights in appointments, development, political and economic recognitions in all areas of government and regional building.

“The women have been neglected in the development of the region to commiserate with the efforts we have put in over the years.

“We, therefore, expect you (Ogbuku) to make the concerns of the women one of your priorities by ensuring that this engagement with us will yield better results,” she added.

The human rights activist applauded the managing director for exploring cooperation with International Oil Companies, developmental partners, and other government agencies to solve difficulties plaguing the region.

Speaking, Ogbuku said that the committee had reached an agreement on how to launch projects and programs that would help the region’s youth and women build their capacities.

He added that the commission was now preparing to host a Niger Delta Stakeholders Summit in order to address many of the difficulties that different organizations, especially women’s bodies, faced.

“We want to give all our leaders, political, traditional, youths, women, and other leaders the platform and opportunity to discuss what our future should be.

“The women form the core of our development programmes. We have met and spoken with the youths, and now, it is the turn of our mothers.

“Women are critical stakeholders as part of the commission’s programme to engage with all stakeholders in the formulation of NDDC’s overall strategies for the region’s development,” he said.

According to Ogbuku, the summit will allow women the chance to talk about their hopes for the future and provide other stakeholders the chance to share ideas for the development of the region.

“Similarly, stakeholders will use the opportunity to leverage on the 2023 budget – which, once signed, we should be able to agree on the areas of priorities on our current realities,” he added.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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