Reps commence probe of NDDC over expenditure of N81.5bn in five months

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Wednesday expressed deep concern over non-submission of financial reports by NDDC and the frivolous expenditure of funds running into billions of naira without developmental benefit to the people of the Niger Delta region.

The chairman of the Committee, Honourable Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC, Ondo) made this known during an investigative public hearing its organised to investigate financial malfeasance and other activities in the Niger Delta Development Commission.

According to him, “the visionary eyes of forerunners in our hallowed chambers caught the dire need to develop the Niger Delta region to mitigate the impact of national economic activities in the area. In the year 2000, the National Assembly established the Act that birthed the Niger Delta Development Commission with a clear mandate to develop the land and the people. 20 years after, we must ask ourselves some critical questions as the baton of preservation falls on us.

“The forensic audit ordered by Mr President in NDDC must have been premised on these critical questions, perhaps the unremitting cry of the people in the region and the need to see maximum value for successive allocations. That underscores the reason this House rightly recognised the need to appropriate fund for the exercise when the Commission failed to reflect this in its 2019 budget estimates.

“The all-important audit is believed to be ongoing, albeit must be without needless controversies and disconnecting allegations of corruption, hence, the need for us as a committee to be thorough, patriotic, and unbiased in the national call to duty.”

The lawmaker, while reeling out the expenses as allegedly made by the NDDC, said the documents submitted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Auditor General’s office showed an expenditure of N81. 5 billion in five months with a comprehensive breakdown.

According to him, “In the course of going the books submitted by both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) this is the total amount spent from January to May 2020 is N81.5 billion.”

“The expenditure is as follows;

  1. Community relations- N1.3 billion
  2. Condolences- N122.9 million
  3. Consultancy: N83 million
  4. Covid-19- N3.14 billion
  5. DTA (Duty Travel Allowance)- N486 million
  6. Impress- N790.9 million
  7. Lasser fever- N1.956 billion
  8. Legal Services- N900 million
  9. Maintenance- N220 million
  10. Overseas travel- N85.6 million
  11. Project Public Communication- N1.121 billion
  12. Security- N744 million
  13. Staffing related payment- N8.8 billion
  14. Stakeholders engagement (February 18- May 31, 2020)- N248 million

Total spent: N81.5 billion

Meanwhile, Mr Anthony Ayine, the Auditor General of the Federation and Mohammed Sabo, the representative of the accountant general both confirmed they had challenges in getting to audit the account books of NDDC and urged the House to amend the constitution to reflect punitive measures for defaulters who do not submit their financial reports to their offices as of when due.

According to Auditor General of the Federation, “it has been difficult getting NDDC to respond to us which equally affected us in concluding our report. However, there has to put in place punitive measures so as to discourage to agencies that would want to go against the constitution.”

In his own submission, Mr Sabo said, “we had challenges with NDDC. We had serious difficulties getting responses from NDDC and that’s why the audit report was delayed because of getting NDDC to respond.”

Addressing newsmen after the session, developments from the hearing, Hon Tunji-Ojo reiterated that the Committee remained focused on delivering a very exhaustive investigation result that would be a reference point in the annals of history of the commission.

“Please note that the House has not condemned anyone, else there would be the need for investigation as directed. We are not hypothetical or condemnatory but open without prejudice,” he stated.



THE House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the purported voluntary resignation of 365 soldiers from the Nigerian Army. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this resolution followed a unanimous adoption of a motion of Matters of Urgent Public Importance by the Chief Whip of the House… Read Full Story
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Tuesday, announced that the country has recorded 463 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to… Read Full Story
The Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential investigation panel probing corrupt allegations levelled against the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Tuesday grilled four-unit heads of the commission… Read Full Story
THE Senate on Tuesday amended the Criminal Code Act which recommended a life sentence for kidnapping as against the existing 10 years sentence stipulated in the act, in the event of the conviction of a suspect. The bill tagged, A Bill for an Act to Amend the Criminal Code Act Cap C. 38, also removed gender restrictions… Read Full Story
AGAINST the directive of the National Assembly, Minister of Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday, said  President Muhammadu Buhari has given the approval to continue with the implementation of the Federal Government  Special Public Works Programme… Read Full Story
IT is mixed feelings across board, 19 years after the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was established. Founded in 2001 during the Obasanjo administration, the commission was designed to relieve the people of the oil-producing states from the abysmal neglect over years. Era of impunity by… Read Full Story
IN spite of the despair that came with the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant consequences, Nigeria decided to seize the opportunity to reset the economy amidst worldwide economic challenges, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo… Read Full Story
WITH July as the deadline for the submission of the names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State, all the political parties are in a frenzy to beat the deadline. All the parties have adopted indirect primaries to… Read Full Story
VICTIMS of toxic relationships live a life of emotional insecurity with diverse extreme emotions that include fear, feeling of low self-worth, helplessness, anxiety, depression, paranoia and lack of confidence… Read Full Story
MINISTER of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, stoked controversy recently when he declared that Nigerian students might lose the opportunity to write the regional West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which more than 1.5 million candidates had registered for this year… Read Full Story
You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More