The Federal Executive Council has approved N722.3 million for eight field forensic auditors to audit the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The payment will come directly from the Presidency as the National Assembly is on break and the 2020 budget for the NDDC has not been passed.
It was learned that the field auditors will also look into the 12,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta. The Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Godwill Akpabio, disclosed this after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. The NDDC became a subject of controversial over allegations of corruption in the award of contracts and the non-payment of Nigerian scholars under the payroll of the commission.
Following this, the National Assembly invited Akpabio and the NDDC boss, Daniel Pondei to probe the activities of the agency. Appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC in a public hearing on July 20, Akpabio accused the lawmakers of benefitting from most contracts awarded by the commission.
However, this did not go down well them as the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila threatened a legal action should the Minister fail to name the purported lawmakers involved in the contracts. The House also asked Akpabio, to publish the names of the members of the National Assembly who got contracts.
In a statement issued on July 28, the spokesman for the House and Committee Chairman on Media Affairs and Publicity, Benjamin Kalu, said that the minister had alleged that 60 percent of all the NDDC projects were awarded to members of the lawmakers between the months of January and May 2020.