The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has reinstated that the Presidential directive on the holistic examination of activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), from its inception in 2001 to August 2019.
Is not just in furtherance of the present Administrations policy agenda, to check corruption. But a determined effort to reposition the NDDC, to change the development narrative of the region.
The Honorable minister stated this while inaugurating the field forensic auditors on Thursday 3rd, September 2020 in his office at Abuja.
According to Senator Akpabio, the eight forensic auditors were cleared by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). Based on individual firms technical competencies and Financial compliance.
The Minister recalled that Government’s effort at repositioning the Niger Delta region, led to the formation of NDDC in 2000, by an Act of Law mainly to address the issues of ecological and socio-economic development problems, in the region after many failed attempts.
Sen. Akpabio noted regrettably, that most of the problems that led to the failure of the previous development initiatives created before which included Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) created in1958, and Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in 1992. All failed because their operations were marred by lack of focus, excessive corruption, political interference and high overhead cost, which are still prominent in the present NDDC.
The Minister further stated that it is pertinent to have a forensic audit considering the amount of resources deployed into the Commission, over the years compared with the level of development recorded over the same period of time.
“The forensic audit of the Commission is supposed to examine and provide answers, as well as creating a framework for reversing the failures recorded in the past. In order to recover those resources recoverable, plug the gaps and stop the waste that is keeping the region under developed.”
“Therefore, the forensic audit should be seen as an opportunity and not a witch-hunt, it is considered as an important project by President Muhammadu Buhari Administration. It will also provide a strong base upon which a new NDDC will emerge”, he said.