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President Buhari insists interim management would head NDDC until forensic audit is completed

President Muhammadu Buhari on  Thursday announced that the temporary management team of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, will remain until the forensic audit of the agency’s operations was carried out.

On November 26, The ICIR reported that the upper legislative chamber blocked members of the interim management of the NDDC from defending the 2020 budget of the commission stating that only valid appointed board members can defend its budget.

“I believe that the executive arm of government will attend to that quickly so that we have the right people to come and defend the Appropriation request of the President,” Ahmed Lawan, President of the Senate had said.

On Thursday, in a Twitter post, President Buhari said the interim committee would be in place until the end of the forensic audit.

“The President has also directed that the Interim Management Team of the NDDC shall be in place till the forensic is completed and that the supervision of the Commission shall remain under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs,” the tweet read.

He also said the board of the commission, recently confirmed by the senate, would be recomposed and inaugurated at the end of the forensic audit –effectively sacking the Pius Odubu-led board.

Buhari had ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the commission from 2001 to 2019 owing to allegations of corruption against it.

The president had expressed his dissatisfaction with the agency, saying the current state of the Niger Delta cannot justify the huge resources that have been allocated to the NDDC.

An interim committee set up by Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta Affairs, currently manages the commission. The management comprises Joi Nunieh, acting managing director; Ibanga Bassey, acting executive director, finance and administration, and Cairo Ojougboh, acting executive director, projects.

The minister had said the committee would run the NDDC for six months and oversee the forensic audit of the agency.

But the Senate has refused to recognise Akpabio’s interim management team.

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