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Stop prolonged audits, inaugurate NDDC board, unionists tell Buhari

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
15 August 2022   |   5:27 am
The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the “unending” audits of the Niger Delta Development Commission...

Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) building

The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the “unending” audits of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and immediately inaugurate a substantive board for the interventionist agency in deference to the enabling law.

Its General Secretary, Sikiru Wahid, in a statement, yesterday, noted that AUPCTRE was not entirely against the ongoing inquiries at the commission, adding that raising a board for the commission would save it from imminent collapse.

His words: “Enough of these unending audits, which fritter away funds of the Commission. A forensic audit, meant to take between three and six months to complete, but eventually has taken almost two years to complete.

“A forensic audit that could have been carried out without suspension of the inauguration of a board, but for some personal reasons, one or two politicians from the Niger Delta region ill-advised the President on inauguration of the board.

“At the moment, auditors from the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation have been in NDDC for about two months auditing the books of the commission, including personnel staff files.

“Like the previous forensic audit, we do not know when this will end. Consequently, we are saying enough is enough. Enough of the ill-advising of Mr. President and the Minister of the Niger Delta Affair.”

He claimed that political heavyweights from the oil-rich region were putting personal interests above the development of the area.

According to Wahid, the political gladiators from the region had allegedly ill-advised Buhari to dissolve the board and appoint an Interim Management Committee (IMC).

The scribe continued: “Thus, instead of focusing efforts on driving development of the commission, these committees either fight back or focus on pacifying the aggrieved stakeholders.

“We, as staff of the NDDC, collectively, under the umbrella of AUPCTRE, cannot fold our hands while different political actors from the region through their actions or inactions undermine the enabling Act of the commission, and so, threaten the corporate existence of the agency.”

“We, as staff of the commission, and as a union, want to partner with the President and minister, who exercises supervisory powers over the NDDC on behalf of the President, to do the right thing.

“Let the NDDC board be inaugurated with the same ease it has been done for other commissions, agencies and parastatals of government across the federation.”