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NDDC alleges threat of arson by traducers to truncate forensic audit

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Acting MD/CEO, NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, PHOTO:Twitter

.. Place police on red alert

…Say headquarters started 24yrs ago ready for commissioning by June

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has raised alarm over an alleged threat of
arson at it’s headquarters by traducers who tend to scuttle the forensic audit
exercise ordered by the President.

In a statement by the Director of planning, Research and Statistics, Niger Delta Ministry, Alfred Abah, the acting Managing Director
of the Commission, Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei raised the alarm while briefing the Presidential Monitoring Committee (PMC) on NDDC about the activities of the Interim Management Committee
(IMC).

According to Abah, Pondie stated that the IMC was not taking the threat lightly as it has duly notified the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and strengthened security and surveillance at its Headquarters.

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He added that the managing director blamed the developments on the efforts of traducers to scuttle the forensic audit
exercise.

Abah said: “The Ag. Managing Director disclosed on a reported threat of arson at the Headquarters of the NDDC and stated that the IMC is not taking the threat lightly as it has duly notified the Nigeria Police Force and
strengthened security and surveillance at its Headquarters”

“He blamed all these developments on the efforts of traducers to scuttle the forensic audit
exercise.”

Pondei was also quoted to have disclosed that the near practical completion of the Headquarter projects which was started about 24 years ago will be commissioned in June, 2020, barring any unforeseen circumstance.

Abah noted that the committee commended the efforts of the IMC in frontally addressing some of the challenges of the
Commission.

Most of the challenges according to the Director were: “Payment of substantial portion of the backlog of debts owed Contractors for jobs completed for more than five years ago and verified, in the category of N100million and below”

“Settlement of backlog of outstanding Staff claims and entitlements that has brought big relief to Staff of the Commission”

“On-going implementation of the provision of palliatives, which includes the provision of critical medical equipment (Ventilator, Mobile X-ray
Machines, etc) and supplies, stimulus relief packages for the less priviledged in the 185 LGAs and grassroots publicity and enlightenment campaign towards the containment of the spread of the novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) in the Niger-Delta Region.”

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He disclosed that the PMC advised the IMC to ensure active involvement of the State
Governments of the Region in the distribution of the palliatives, as well as ensure that they give special attention to the needy and vulnerable in
view of the fact that the lock down period may be longer than envisaged.

Abah disclosed that the Ag. Managing Director clarified on the misinformation to the public that NDDC has sacked senior officers of the Commission.

According to him, the Managing Director confirmed that the rumour making the rounds that some Staff of the Commission were recently sacked was incorrect and unfounded.

Adding: “He disclosed that following the advice of the Lead Consultant on the Forensic Audit exercise, the Commission placed certain members of staff on mandatory leave with full benefits, pending the conclusion and outcome of the on-going forensic audit”

“Some of the affected staff were those already indicted by anti-corruption Agencies as the EFCC for acts of financial impropriety and corruption and
whose continuous presence at their duty posts could interfere, impair, undermine or compromise the objective of the forensic audit exercise.”

The director noted that the PMC-NDDC received highlights of the Reports of the former PMC and assured that it would strive to ensure that the observations and recommendations therein are implemented to address observed anomalies in the operations of the Commission.

Accorsing to him, the committee discovered the non-involvement of the beneficiaries Communities in
identification of project needs,
Post-project ownership issues, Lack of maintenance on projects, as well as inadequate
supervision of project during execution amongst others.

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