Those who managed the funds of Niger Delta Development Commission from 2001 to 2019 must explain how several billions of Naira allocated to the commission were spent, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
Buhari stated this Thursday, October 17, 2019 when governors of the states that make up the NCDC, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State visited him at the State House Abuja.
Worried by the level of poor handling of projects in the region, Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the operations of NDDC from 2001 to 2019.
Main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was in power from 1999 to 2015.
Most members of the opposition are now members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the president gave the directive after receiving governors from the region
Buhari was quoted as saying, “I try to follow the Act setting up these institutions especially the NDDC. With the amount of money that the Federal Government has religiously allocated to the NDDC, we will like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues.
“The projects said to have been done must be verifiable. You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done. The consultants must also prove that they are competent.”
The president submitted that developing the Niger Delta area required enormous resources compared to other parts of the country with firmer lands.
“I am acutely aware, with my experience, that projects in your area are very expensive; that is why if any job is given, we must make sure that the company is competent and has the capacity to do it well with experienced consultants”, Buhari said.
The region produces the highest percentage of revenue for running Nigeria.
Dealing with those found culpable
The former military head state stated that he would wait for the report of the audit before deciding on the next line of action regarding the commission.
The incumbent Minister of Niger Delta is Godswill Akpabio, a former member of PDP from 1999 till 2018 when he decamped to APC.
Speaking, the head of the delegation, Governor Dickson expressed concerns over poor and shoddy handling of projects.
APC has anti-corruption as one of its cardinal election promises, but there are some former PDP members who have corruption allegation levelled against them, they are not members of the anti-graft party.