Akpabio describes NDDC as cesspool of corruption
Minister of Nigeria Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has described the Niger Delta Development commission (NDDC) as a cesspool of corruption.
Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, stated this yesterday during a courtesy visit to Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade at the executive council chambers in Calabar, noted that corruption has eaten deep into the commission, so much so that between 2017 and last year, N468billion was spent on emergency jobs, particularly road projects.
He added: “The NDDC has been a cesspool of corruption over the years and everyone knows it, including the workers and contractors, and the agency deviated from its original mandate of ameliorating the sufferings of the people over the years.
“Between 2017 and last year, N468billion was expended on emergency jobs, particularly road projects that did not have gutters, N4.3billion cash grants given to NGOs, 90 per cent of which were not registered, and I wondered how they opened accounts with banks.”
He explained that the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari was to put an end to the corrupt practices, as the federal government was committed to righting the wrongs in the Niger Delta region.
He said the essence of the visit to the state was to look at ongoing projects and see where the ministry could intervene alongside the NDDC, so as to touch the lives of the people, besides fast-tracking development in the region.
In his response, Ayade expressed displeasure over government neglect of ex-militants from the state who have surrendered their arms, saying he was shocked to hear from the minister of ongoing projects in the state.
While urging Akpabio to put an end to every obstacle that separates the state from NDDC, the governor lamented that billions of naira were spent on the amnesty programme, but not a single Cross Riverian was included.
“Cross River State is the only state in the Niger Delta whose people have dropped guns, yet not admitted into the amnesty programme and NDDC spends billions on the programme and there is no Cross Riverian.
“I am shocked when I hear you reel out all the programmes, activities and projects ongoing in Cross River State and as governor, I don’t know about them, I am not aware of these projects. It is to tell you how isolated the NDDC is from the state governments.”
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