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Reps clarify NDDC’s N81.5b expenditure probe, grill BPP boss over projects

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The House of Representatives yesterday dismissed the notion in certain quarters that the ongoing probe of the expenditure by the interim management committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was a witch-hunt.

Chairman of the House committee on NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who spoke at the commencement of the investigative hearing, enjoined stakeholders to cooperate with his panel to achieve the goal of repositioning the interventionist agency.

The lawmakers are investigating the alleged misapplication of N81.5 billion from January this year till date.

The chairman assured invitees of a fair deal, adding that “the House has not condemned anyone, else there would not be the need for investigation as directed. We are not hyper-critical or condemnatory, but open without prejudice.”

“We enjoin everyone to give this committee the maximum cooperation, as the impact of this shall be far-reaching,” he pleaded.

Also, the committee grilled the acting Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Babatunde Kuye, for more than an hour over alleged execution of a number of projects without certificates of no objection.

Tunji-Ojo, who later briefed reporters, disclosed that N81.5 billion was released to the NDDC IMC within the period under review, based on the submission by officials of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGoF).

He claimed that “virtually all the COVID-19 expenses were carried out by the NDDC in breach of laid down rules and regulations.”

The legislator said the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who was absent at event, alongside members of the IMC, would appear today, to state their own side of the story.


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