Published On: Tue, Dec 11th, 2012

Niger Delta Intervention Agencies are Jamborees for Politicians- Don

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By Christopher Odamah, Warri
A University Don, Professor Augustine Ikelegbe has described the different intervention agencies established in Niger Delta region set up to resolve the development of the area as a jamboree set up for political contractors.
He described the different agencies as a museum for white elephant, whitewashed, uncompleted, abandoned and high cost projects that have had little bearing on the peoples’ livelihoods.

Blaming the failure of past and existing development intervention agencies such as Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Oil Mineral Petroleum Area Development Commission (OMPADEC) in the Niger Delta region on hijack by elites and corruption, Ikelegbe, a lecturuer in University of Benin, who chaired the launch of Tompolo Foundation recently in Warri, Delta State, stated that past and existing development intervention agencies such as NDDC and OMPADEC failed or are failing on the altar of top down approach, hijack by elites, huge operational costs, elephant, unsustainable and abandoned projects and performance deficits.
Ikelegbe pointed out that the situation of scanty developmental attention has not changed in the region, adding that federal government efforts remain trickle, poorly funded, centralized and poorly performing interventions. He added that there was need for massive educational and health care interventions to strengthen human capital which according to him is so terribly underdeveloped in the riverine and coastal parts of the Niger Delta.
“ Due to poor access to good education and health care, these areas are deprived of their potential for sustainable livelihoods and development. The current state of public sector provisions, inadequate as it is, is plagued with decay, poor services, poor patronage, and poor satisfaction.
“The sector requires massive non state support to strengthen access and results. The efforts of transnational oil companies and international organizations thus far have not made much difference to the overall picture of inadequacy, lack of access and poor quality of social services and infrastructure to the generality of the region’s population.”
He advised the intervention of eminent Niger Deltans in the physical and human development of the region is long over due. Just as he discovered that Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) is a hero of the struggle for the emancipation and development of the Niger Delta.
“As a freedom fighter, he sought government attention, massive development intervention and substantive transformation of the fortunes of the Niger Delta people. For over a decade, he struggled and sacrifices much for the development of the region.”

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