…As Akpabio vows erring contractors must pay back
By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has described the recent revelations from the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as clear justification of President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to take a look at the books of the interventionist agency.
The organization noted that the fact that NDDC’s interim management committee is also digging into what it described as fraudulent contracts between 2017 and 2019 showed that the President is not prepared to provide cover for anyone found wanting.
BMO in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, described the move as a reflection of the President’s zero-tolerance for corruption.
“Since the President set up an interim management for the NDDC and ordered a forensic audit, Nigerians have been treated to all sorts of revelations about how the agency had been largely unable to discharge its responsibilities in the Niger Delta region.
‘If the NDDC board had taken office, chances are that the forensic audit could have ended because the Internal Management Committee (IMC) would have stopped working.
“But today, President Buhari’s decision to stick with his position on the Dr Joy Nunieh-led IMC is being proved to be well-thought-out, considering the rot that is regularly filtering out since the audit of NDDC operations began.”
BMO pointed out that the fact that the committee has dug up fraudulently awarded contracts, worth N1.3trn, between 2017 and 2019 is evidence that there is no sacred cow when it comes to the President’s war against corruption.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has again vowed to recover all monies paid to erring contractors on all abandoned projects by the Niger Delta Deveopment Commission (NDDC).
The Minister who spoke weekend, at the Palace of the Paramount ruler of lbeno Local Government Area, of Akwa lbom State, His Royal Highness Owong (Dr)Effiong Bassey Archianga (JP), while on inspection tour of NDDC facilities in the state assured that the Forensic audit of the NDDC as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari will expose all contractors who received payments and abandoned the jobs.
He warned the contractors to either return to sites to complete the jobs or pay back the monies received “adding that the projects at lbeno communities would not be exempted from this task”
Earlier in his address, the monarch, who disclosed at about 10 NDDC projects have been abandoned in his area, commended the Minister’s vision and efforts in trying to streamline procedures and operations in the NDDC.
He however recalled that some of the projects were started when the Minister was the Governor of Akwa lbom State, even as he thanked the Minister for providing the land for the sitting of the project at lbeno and pleaded for its speedy completion.