President Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to match his words with action in relation to revelations on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Presideny Buhari had said anyone found wanting in the investigation of the NDDC will be brought to book.
Speaking of this, the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition, through a press statement by
Comrade Godknows Sotonye, national coordinator, said since President Buhari agreed that his appointees in NDDC and others have abused his trust by misusing their offices for their self-aggrandisement, he should act by taking disciplinary action.
The group said by delaying action, President Buhari is emboldening those who has pillaged the NDDC.
It said certificates of no-objection were procured from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) for the award of two NDDC contracts, “the first for a lead forensic consultant at N318 million, and the second for the purchase of 62 cars for N1.599 billion.”
Urging the president to crown the National Assembly report with a decisive action, the group said: “The president should match his words with action and visit the 116-page report and resolutions of the Senate on the financial recklessness of the NDDC IMC, which was adopted unanimously. The report details the humongous scam that has been going on at the NDDC, and presents a clear pathway forward for the Commission.”
Commending the Senate committee for making far-reaching recommendations, which were adopted by the Senate at plenary, the group recalled that the Senate resolved “that the IMC be disbanded and made to refund the sum of N4.923 billion; that the substantive Governing Board of the NDDC be sworn in to manage the Commission in line with the provisions of the Law; that the NDDC be moved back to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in the Presidency for proper supervision; that the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation supervise the forensic audit to “guarantee independence, credibility, transparency and professionalism in the output of the exercise and that the President, with advice from the Auditor General, should appoint a renowned, internationally recognised forensic auditor to carry out the exercise.”
The Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition said the National Assembly reports and resolution confirmed clear looting of the resources of the NDDC, adding: “Among other expenditures made in the last eight months, as gleaned from the NDDC account statements are: N1.12 billion for publicity, N1.3 billion for Community relations, and N475 million, which the IMC said was used to buy hand sanitizer and face masks for the police.”
The group said the NDDC IMC is illegal as there is no provision for it in the law establishing the NDDC.
It called for dissolution of the IMC “because, as an illegal contraption, it serves no functional purpose in the administration of the NDDC. The NDDC Governing Board, which is provided for in line with the law, should be put in place immediately to run the affairs of the Commission.
“The forensic audit has to be done by a reputable independent auditor, creditably and independently, just as the NNPC audit was done by Price Waterhouse a few years back while the legitimate Board and management was still in place. The board and management of the NNPC were not set aside for an IMC in order to do the audit.”
The welcome the recommendation that the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation should supervise the forensic audit in NDDC and that the President, “with advice from the Auditor General, should appoint a renowned, internationally recognised forensic auditor to carry out the exercise.”