…says commission got N6trn in eight years, operates 362 banks accounts
Federal Government on Thursday exposed the rot at the Niger Delta Development Commission, saying the agency got N6trillion budgetary allocation within eight years.
Government also disclosed that NDDC operates no fewer than 362 accounts with various commercial banks without proper reconciliation.
It also expressed concern that the 13,777 projects being handled by the Commission have had their execution “substantially compromised.”
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed these when the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, submitted the NDDC forensic audit report to him in Abuja on Thursday.
Malami conveyed the worries of the government concerning the colossal loss recorded by the NDDC due to uncompleted and unverified development projects in the Niger Delta region, despite the budgetary allocation and release of about N6trillion to the commission in eight years.
The AGF noted that the essence of the forensic audit was to ensure accountability in the spending of public funds.
According to him, “It is on record that between 2001 and 2019, the Federal Government has approved N3, 375, 735,776,794.93 as budgetary allocation and N2,420,948,894,191.00 as Income from Statutory and Non Statutory Sources, which brings the total figure to the sum of approximately N6 trillion given to the Niger Delta Development Commission.
“The Federal Government is particularly concerned with the colossal loss occasioned by uncompleted and unverified development projects in the Niger Delta region, in spite of the huge resources made available to uplift the living standard of the citizens.
“We have on record over 13,777 projects, the execution of which is substantially compromised. The Federal Government is also concerned with the multitudes of Niger Delta Development Commission’s bank accounts amounting to 362 and lack of proper reconciliation of accounts.”
He noted that the Federal Government had allocated huge resources to the development of the Niger Delta from 2001 to 2019, adding that it had therefore become imperative for both the government and the public to be properly informed about what has been spent and how it has been expended.
“The essence of the forensic audit is to ensure probity and accountability in the use of public funds. It is against this background that the Federal Government will without hesitation strategically implement all aspects of the audit exercise that will promote probity and greater prosperity for the Niger Delta Region and Nigeria as whole,” Malami said.
The AGF further said that the Petroleum Industry Act recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari was to “bring about prudence and accountability in the Petroleum Sector and to give a sense of participation and ownership to the Host communities.”