International auditors to probe NDDC’s N2t debt
International or external auditing firms are to be engaged to determine the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) total indebtedness estimated at about N2t.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, said the commission must curtail its procurement activities, by reducing the number of projects and programmes it intends to execute.
Akpabio during an interactive meeting with NDDC employees in Port Harcourt, directed the management to prioritise some signature projects in each of the nine states of the Niger Delta, to ensure regular funding.He said: "We must determine the total indebtedness of NDDC. We must immediately bring in international or external auditing firms. NDDC must have a well-structured fund development regime, whereby all funds that accrue to the commission every month are utilised. In NDDC, it will no longer be business as usual. "
Akpabio said NDDC did not have the resources to solve all the problems of the Niger Delta region, as its 12, 000 projects across the nine oil-producing states were experiencing funding challenge.
"The commission must drastically curtail its procurement activities, by reducing the number of big projects and programmes. To ensure we determine the total number of ongoing projects and programmes, as well as their distribution among the nine states, NDDC must put a mechanism in place to re-evaluate the viability of some of projects and programmes. It must revise the scope of some, relocate some, merge some, and complete them for the benefit of our people," Akpabio said.
Acting Managing Director, Dr. Akwagaga Lelegima Enyia, said: “Our desire is to cut poverty by half and transform Niger Delta rural communities.
The NDDC, in collaboration with Federal Ministries of Finance and Agriculture, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are partnering to grow agribusiness in the commission’s focal states…”
Meanwhile, the Midwest Progressives Forum (MPF) has frowned at Akpabio and the Minister of State, Festus Keyamo (SAN), over their inability to advise President Buhari on non-compliance with the provisions of NDDC Act, No. 6 of 2000, in the nomination of the leadership of the yet to be inaugurated NDDC Board.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the National President and Secretary, Andrew Emwanta, and Mrs. Judith Osarumwense, and made available to The Guardian.
According to the group: "As lawyers, they both owe the President the responsibility of advising him on the propriety and legality of the nomination(s) to the offices of Chairman and Managing Director of the Commission, which were made in flagrant violation of the provisions of the NDDC Establishment Act No. 6 of 2000"… Due to this avoidable mistake, there are currently over five law suits in various courts challenging the validity of the Board nominations..."
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