Chief Edwin Clark, the Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has called for an amendment to the 2000 Act that established the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He specifically urged President Bola Tinubu to remove Abia, Imo, and Ondo states from the NDDC, which currently comprises nine states in the Niger Delta region.
The nine states that currently make up the NDDC are Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom.
At a news conference in Abuja, Chief Edwin Clark emphasized that the inclusion of Abia, Imo, and Ondo in the NDDC was a political aberration that should be rectified. He argued that these states, which are not geographically within the Niger Delta or coastal regions, should be removed from the NDDC.
Clark stated, “NDDC should remain the six original Niger Delta Coastal States. All other oil-producing states should establish a relationship with the oil companies and Nigeria.”
He also pointed out that oil has been discovered in other parts of Nigeria, including Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kogi, and Lagos, which further justifies the need for these non-Niger Delta states to have a different relationship with oil companies.
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Clark emphasized that the success of the NDDC is vital for the success of Nigeria and suggested that the Federal Government should find a way to accommodate the three states while adhering to the principles of the NDDC. He likened the situation to a limited liability company, where majority shareholders and minority shareholders have different roles.
In this context, he noted that it is unreasonable and inequitable for a state that produces a minority share of oil to demand to have control over the NDDC. Clark’s call for this amendment seeks to ensure that the NDDC remains effective and focused on the development of the Niger Delta region.
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