N81.5bn NDDC Fraud Scandal: Senate Wraps Up Probe, Submits Report To Buhari

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  • Mandates IMC To Refund N4.923bn To NDDC
  • Wants Properly Constituted Board In Place
  • Wants IMC Disbanded, NDDC Moved To SGF’s Office
  • ‘We Want Stolen Loot Recovered’ — N’Delta Group

The Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the underfire Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Senate made the call following the outcome of its probe into the allegations of financial recklessness rattling the NDDC after weeks of investigation.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly said the continuous injection of scarce resources into the NDDC under the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led IMC would continue to amount to a waste of resources and time.N81.5bn NDDC Fraud

The Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee set up to probe “alleged financial recklessness” at the NDDC, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North), while presenting the Committee’s report and adopted recommendations said: “In conclusion, the Committee noted that it is difficult to find a correlation between Niger Delta community development and cash invested in the zone.

“Continued cash injection in the Niger Delta challenge issue has not worked under the various IMCs.

“It may be useful at this juncture for the Government to intervene by stepping down the EIMC (Executive Interim Management Committee), thereby helping them leave the stage for a properly constituted board with specific mandate to address the pains of the Niger Delta people.”

The Senate Committee also mandates the current IMC to refund the N4.923billion it paid to staff and contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals.

The Committee said that the IMC should be made to refund extra budgetary expenditure of N4.923billion payment to staff and contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals.

A breakdown of monies that the committee asked the IMC to refund include the cost for overseas travel to the United Kingdom in the sum of N85.7million; Scholarships Grants – N105.5million; Union Members trip to Italy – N164.2million; Lassa Fever Kit – N1.96billon; Public Communication – N1.2billion and COVID-19 Relief -N1.49billon.

The Committee in its recommendations also asked President Buhari to return the NDDC back to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for proper supervision.

Recall, prior to the Buhari-administration, the NDDC used to be under the supervision of the SGF.

But the agency is now being supervised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, headed by Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Meanwhile, The New Diplomat earlier reported that a group of leaders, elders and stakeholders under the auspices of the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), had on Wednesday, said they are not interested in the drama and semantics playing out since the NDDC probe started, but instead want the presidency and National Assembly to get to the root of the allegations and take decisive decision in the interest of the oil-rich region.

“All the Niger Delta wants is that justice be done, and stolen loot recovered,” Mr. Tony I Uranta, the group’s Secretary General, said in a statement.

“UNDEDSS has repeatedly decried the quantum of corruption that has become the trademark of the NDDC and the governments of the Niger Delta.

“We have been totally in support of the current renewed anti-corruption stance and directives of President Buhari; especially the demand that a comprehensive forensic audit be carried out as directed by Mr. President, and, that those indicted be made to face the full consequences of criminality in courts of law.”

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