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BPP has approved forensic audit of NDDC, says Akpabio

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Minister of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Sen. Godswill Akpabio, yesterday claimed that the ministry had secured approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to commence forensic audit on the activities the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Director of press at the ministry, Patricia Deworitse, quoted Akpabio to have disclosed this during a tripartite meeting of NDDC Interim Management Committee (IMC), the lead forensic consultant and the MNDA in Abuja.

“The BPP has assessed the firm and found it fit to be the leading consulting firm that will lead the appointment of other forensic auditors for the NDDC audit between 2001 and 2019.

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“We have received the approval of BPP to now commence the exercise,” Akpabio was quoted to have said.

The minister reiterated that the directive by President Buhari for the forensic audit of NDDC was not to witch-hunt anyone or group, but to ascertain what went wrong and put in place a governmental structure that would be result-oriented.

On the proposed methodology for the exercise, he noted that the next task was to work in collaboration with the ministry to bring in experienced and notable forensic auditors of international repute, so that whatever report produced would be accepted and enforced within and outside the country.

The Permanent Secretary, MNDA, Olusade Adesola, explained that the tripartite meeting was to bring various stakeholders in the forensic audit team at par, and address grey areas.

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Noting that Buhari’s directive was to address the irregularities in NDDC, Adesola disclosed that the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Mkpe Ayine, interacted with the consulting firm to verify if it had the capacity to do the job.

The Executive Director (Projects) of NDDC and the Chairman of NDDC Contracts Verification Committee, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, described the presentation as thought-provoking, adding that the consulting firm was equipped and deemed fit to carry out the forensic exercise.

According to Ojougboh, NDDC is an agency under MNDA; hence the audit is above the limit of the commission to supervise.

He described the ministry as the procuring entity, but that the commission should be carried along in the exercise.

The lead forensic consultant of Messrs Olumuyiwa Basiru & Company, Mr. Kabiru Ahmed, during his presentation, confirmed the readiness of the firm to commence the audit and achieve the presidential mandate is achieved.

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Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has again warned Akpabio to stop alleged political scheming in the affairs of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), as the programme for is not for political patronage.

IYC, in statement signed by its president, Eric Omare, urged the former governor of Akwa Ibom to stop pressurising Presidential Buhari to appoint his loyalist from Akwa Ibom as coordinator of PAP.

Omare sad the IYC had it in good authority that just like the way Akpabio got the presidency to put NDDC under MNDA, he had started another political scheming to put PAP under the same ministry.

“We wish to state clearly that PAP is not a programme for everybody in the Niger Delta region, but a programme specially designed for ex-agitators in the region who voluntarily surrounded their arms and ammunition to the Federal Government.”

The youths called on Buhari to ignore Akpabio lobbying to appoint his loyalist from Akwa Ibom as coordinator of PAP, to avoid breach of the fragile peace in the Niger Delta region.

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