Forensic audit of the NDDC

It was a painful revelation when the acting managing director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, stated that the 2019 budget of the commission was inflated with over 500 non-existing projects. He also made clarifications on allegations of corruption leveled against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the commission. He said billions of naira was appropriated for the non-existing projects. He added that the 2019 budget will terminate on May 31 without any project executed in the region during the fiscal year.

According to him, after the NDDC forwarded its budget to the National Assembly committees on NDDC, what was sent back was no longer recognizable. “The 2019 budget was classically over-padded, with almost 500 new projects inserted into it. We found out that the appropriation was done in such a way that meaningful projects were allocated very little sums of money. It is unfortunate that the 2019 budget will expire on May 31 without any project executed in the region. It is worrying that rather than being a major intervention agency, the commission has been reduced to erecting streetlights and constructing drainages, something local governments can do,” he said.

This is not the way a country should be run. The implications can be dire. It is clear to everyone who is observant that despite the biting poverty and economic backwater that Nigeria currently occupies, we are still afflicted by a leadership that is greedy, inept and wicked. Many nations that gained independence during the period when Nigeria did have clearly made significant progress. Leadership has remained one of the major undoings of the Nigeria project. How does one grasp the frustrating news of fraudulent practices among our ruling elite, especially  in a country that is plagued by poverty, lack and sickness? Shouldn’t we be bothered by all of these? How are we going to get out of this? It is high time we took our destinies in our hands and demand a better, saner clime. The stealing must stop. The falsehood must stop. The poverty must be brought to a close. We must be ready to speak truth to ourselves. Nigeria must work. Those who feed fat on our collective patrimony must be made to stop.

 

Yetunde Odeyemi, Abeokuta

 

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