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President Buhari “shakes the tables” of NDDC, orders forensic audit of its accounts
IN a series of tweets, President Muhammadu Buhari revealed that a forensic audit on the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, from 2001 to 2019 in a move to check the excesses of corrupt officials in the agency at the expense of the Niger Delta.
President Buhari made this known at the State House in Abuja when he hosted a delegation of state governors from the South-South region led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
He condemned the huge resources that have been made available to the Commission without a commensurate slice of results to show for it.
“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,” he said.
The projects that are said to have been done must be verifiable. One cannot just say billions have been spent and when the sites are visited, there is nothing to be seen as proof of work done. The forensic audit will cover the NDDC’s operations from 2001 to 2019.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) October 17, 2019
“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,” the president explained.
He said he would wait for the report of the audit before deciding on the next line of action regarding the organisation.
Governor Dickson also expressed dissatisfaction alongside the other governors with the operations of the NDDC, which is defined with poor handling of contracts, uncompleted jobs and lack of the required technical expertise.
BudgIT, a civic advocacy group in its 2018 report hinted that between 2000 to 2018 the NDDC had spent $40 billion on capital projects it had embarked on in the Niger Delta which is equivalent to an estimated N15 trillion.
Though, the expenditure of this huge sum has not translated into significant development of the oil-rich communities in the Niger Delta.
The NDDC was established during the Obasanjo administration to respond to complaints of neglect by the oil-rich communities in the region. Former President Umaru Yar’adua in 2008 created the Ministry of Niger Delta and made the NDDC an agency under the ministry.