New Telegraph

NDDC: TSA Impeding Our Autonomy, Performance, Demands Exit

The Niger Delta Development Commission has appealed to President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government to remove the commission from Treasury Single Account (TSA) financial framework for maximum performance and efficiency.

It said though it recognizes the importance of transparency and accountability, principles enshrined in TSA policy, such financial framework has its weighty limitations for the interventionist agency.

The Managing Director of NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, made the case while speaking at the Board and Management Retreat with the theme ” Renewed Hope: A New Era for Vitality, Peace and Development” held at Four Point by Sheraton, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State on Friday.

“To truly deliver on the Renewed Hope Agenda, we need to remove funding impediments. We advocate the removal of the NDDC from operating under the TSA framework due to the Commission’s unique characteristics and the potential benefits of increased autonomy in financial management” Ogbuku said.

He said operating under the TSA framework may limit the commission’s financial autonomy and hinder it from quickly adapting to emerging needs or unforeseen circumstances as well as limiting its flexibility in resource allocation.

He said ” The TSA framework may limit the NDDC’s financial autonomy, as all funds must pass through a centralized account, potentially affecting the speed of financial decision-making in response to regional development needs.

“The rigid budgetary discipline enforced by TSA may hinder the NDDC’s ability to quickly adapt to emerging needs or unforeseen circumstances, limiting its flexibility in resource allocation.

“While we embrace the TSA’s transparency goals, its centralized control has undoubtedly created hurdles, particularly in maintaining project pace. The limited construction window further compounds these challenges”

Speaking while declaring the retreat open, the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Engr Abubakar Momoh, while acknowledging the significant role being played by NDDC in fostering development in the region, charged the commission to faithfully implement the recommendations of the report of the forensic audit in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President

He urged the board and management to make meaningful headway in charting a roadmap for sustainable development of the region while also drawing the attention of the board to the need to constantly monitor and evaluate the performances of all contracts to ensure compliance with the scope and other details

Momoh said “As you are all aware, the Forensic Audit had been concluded and its report submitted to Government. While the White Paper on the report of the Forensic Audit is being awaited, some of its recommendations, are being implemented; an example is the constitution of a New Board for the Commission

“The tasks before this New Board shall include a faithful implementation of the recommendations of the report of the Forensic Audit, in line with the President’s “Renewed Hope agenda

” I want to remind us that if we must make any headway in charting the desired roadmap for sustainable development of the region, all hands must be on deck, with every courage it deserves, to tackle those factors that have constituted a clog in the wheel of development programmes and policies in the region.

“It is expedient that I draw your attention to the need to constantly monitor and evaluate the performances of all contracts to ensure compliance with the scope and other details”.

The chairman of the NDDC board Mr Chiedu Ebie said that the gathering was a reflection of President Bola Tinubu’s desire to have the Niger Delta transformed into a zone of peace and development.

He said “Since our inauguration. as a highly accountable and proactive board, we have achieved progress together, we have worked to dispel the negative narratives that once plagued the commission”

Akwa Ibom State governor, Umo Eno who was represented by his deputy, Senator Akon Ayakenyi, called for effective collaboration between the state and NDDC to enable it to achieve its mandates of sustainable development in the region.

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