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IYC tasks FG, NDDC on forensic audit, seeks immediate publication of report

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The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has charged the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to stop using the forensic audit as an excuse to run a contrived management structure in the NDDC.

The group stressed that it has been one year since the investigations and forensic audit began, maintaining that one year was enough to complete an audit and its findings published.

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In a statement issued by IYC President, Timothy Igbifa in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, the group charged the Federal Government and the NDDC to publish the report of the forensic audit immediately and stop violating the Act establishing the commission.

He recalled that odd management structure such as the Interim Management Committee (IMC) and the current Sole Administration was being used to run the commission while using the forensic audit as an excuse.

IYC noted that in February 2020, the Federal Government initiated a holistic forensic investigation of the commission’s finances from 2001 to 2019 with a view to sanitising the operations of the NDDC.

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“It has been one year that the investigations started. It is time to publish the report of the investigation. One year is more than enough to complete the audit of NDDC and publish the report,” the statement reads.

He warned that IYC and other stakeholders would no longer tolerate the perpetual deviation and confusion in the management of NDDC, adding that Niger Delta stakeholders were expecting an end to the sole administration of NDDC before April 1, 2021, and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate a board that would take over from Effiong Akwa on April 1, 2021.

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Igbifa recalled that Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, mentioned April as the resumption date for the substantive board and management of the NDDC, insisting that the IYC and Niger Delta stakeholders would not allow the current management to stretch beyond March 31, 2021.

He said: “We were happy when the idea of the forensic audit started in February 2020 because we believed that it would sanitise the NDDC and give the commission a new beginning to actualise its mandate in the Niger Delta region.

“At a point, we insisted on the dissolution of the IMC and the inauguration of a substantive board, but instead of constituting a new board, Effiong Akwa was named a Sole Administrator for the commission with a mandate to conclude the audit and hand over to a substantive board, while expending the 2020 budget up to March 31, 2021. We urge the President to inaugurate members of the board before April.” 

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