CSSD demands audit of N1bn NDDC indebtedness to contractors
The Centre for Social Studies and Development (CSSD) has advocated an audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged N1trn debt to contractors.
CSSD Executive Director, Ken Henshaw, said only a thorough audit of the agency would reveal the veracity of its actual indebtedness.
Henshaw told The Guardian that it was worrying that an agency, established to tackle human capacity development, environmental degradation and infrastructural deficit has since its inception been accumulating debt to the detriment of younger generations.He said:
“All you hear about NDDC is scandal. I know for a fact that a former Acting Managing Director of NDDC said the agency owed contractors between N800b and N1trn. An agency created in 2000 already owing about N1 trillion? As at the last count, this agency has about 8,000 abandoned projects littered everywhere across the Niger Delta.
“We demand a thorough audit that will reveal the inflow and outflow of monies the commission has received since its inception. The NDDC Act makes it mandatory for the commission to submit an audited report to the President of the federation. We demand an audit and not mere investigation.”
Henshaw regretted that the Niger Delta Master Plan, which cost $10m to design and was supposed to be implemented between 2006 and 2020, had been abandoned.
“The first bill President Olusegun Obasanjo sent to the National Assembly was the NDDC Bill and it was passed in 2000, showing how dire the Niger Delta problem was then. Go and look at the NDDC Master Plan and ask yourself which of those things have been done? How can you have such an organisation and there is absolutely no impact?” Recently in Port Harcourt, NDDC contractors had lamented the commission’s failure to pay them for jobs completed. They said some of them lost their property to loans obtained to execute NDDC projects.