Human rights activist, Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a competent indigene from the Itsekiri community in Delta State as the next managing director (MD) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Speaking with journalists in Lagos, she said the Itsekiri community produces 50 percent of the oil in Delta State and 17 percent at the national level, and, therefore, qualified to produce the next MD.
She said there are already plans to appoint a new NDDC board and it is important that they make their stand known on the matter to ensure someone who knows about how the petroleum industry works would be appointed.
“Having been at the forefront of the fight for the development of the Niger Delta region, it is incumbent on me to make sure the oil-bearing communities in the region get a better deal. Therefore, I want to restate that our position on the composition of the board has not changed. It remains the same. We cannot allow the appointment of anyone who is not from the oil-bearing communities as chairman of the board or managing director of the commission.
“The Itsekiri community produces 50 percent of Delta State’s oil, 17 percent of oil at the national level and has about 70 percent oil reserves; therefore, it is only fair that a community that produces such an amount to the treasury should produce the MD of the NDDC. Also, the Act that set up the commission stipulates that the chairman of the board and the MD be rotated according to alphabetical order among the oil producing states. Based on that, it is the turn of Delta State to produce the MD and the Itsekiri community deserves that slot because it produces the highest amount of oil.