NDDC: Senate sets up committee to probe IMC over alleged N40 billion fraud

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to investigate the Interim Management Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to administer the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The Committee will be led by the senator representing Ekiti North, Olubunmi Adetunbi.

Findings revealed that a substantive Board of the intervention agency, screened by the Senate was put in abeyance by the Presidency pending the forensic audit of the NDDC.

But the Senate resolved to investigate the IMC following the allegation of mismanagement of over N40 Billion by the agency.

The Senate resolution was sequel to a motion, ”Urgent Need to Investigate Alleged Financial Recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC), ”sponsored by Senator representing Rivers East senatorial district, Thompson George Sekibo.

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He alleged financial recklessness and an arbitrary sack of the management staff of the Commission.

He said: “While President Buhari’s action of setting up an IMC and the forensic audit may have been conceived to forestall the financial recklessness of the Commission and reposition it for fast-tracking of the development of the region, the IMC has been more bedevilled with the same financial misuse, misapplication, misappropriation or outright fraud in the management of the funds of the Commission.

”Within the last three months, the commission has spent over N40 billion of the Commission’s fund without recourse to established processes of funds disbursements, which has open up further suspicion among stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region.

“IMC is also alleged to be arbitrarily using executive power for the wrongful sacking of management staff of the commission without recourse to established civil service rules and practices.

”Consequently, the IMC has lost credibility and seen as a financial conduit pipe based on opinions of stakeholders in the region, which therefore urgently calls for an intervention by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to instil confidence in the people for whom the commission was primarily established.

“In particular, section 88 of the constitution (as amended), has conferred on the National Assembly and in this case the Senate, to ascertain whether the sum of N40billion so appropriated and in the coffers of the commission, has been properly applied judiciously and appropriately to programmes meant for”.

The Senate consequently mandated the ad-hoc Committee to be led by Senator Adetunbi to conduct its investigation and submit its findings in four weeks.

Other members of the Committee are Senators Jika Dauda Haliru,  Mohammed Tanko Almakura,  Abdulfatai Buhari, Chukwuka Utazi, Ibrahim Hadeija and Degi – Eremienyo Biobarakuma Wangaha.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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