NDDC became ATM for political patronage, says Akpabio

By Obas Esiedesa

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has claimed that corrupt politicians in the Niger Delta turned the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) into an ATM machine to the detriment of the oil rich region’s development.

Akpabio disclosed this in Abuja last week when he received the report of an Ad-hoc Committee set up by the Presidential Support Committee of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

Akpabio said President Buhari was determined to ensure that the region is developed using the funds allocated by the government.

He said the forensic audit ordered by the President would commence soon to determine how past funds were utilised.

He explained: “President Buhari is the first leader in Nigeria that decided that the Niger Delta Development Commission should be repositioned.

“In the past, we had a situation where people looked at the place like an ATM that can never achieve anything for the people and so they go there and use to ensure patronage for cronies.

“He has ordered forensic audit. Forensic audit is different from statutory audit that every organisation or establishment must do. But you find out that sometimes they bring convoluted figures that attract the public to invest in such companies”.

The former governor of Akwa Ibom State, noted that more important than the audit is the plan by the federal government to put in place a governance structure that would ensure that the NDDC achieves it’s mandates for the people of the region.

He said the President Buhari remains committed to rid Nigeria of corruption, noting that Buhari has done more infrastructure than any previous president.

He called for the support of the President in his quest to develop Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Ambassador Munir Lawan said the committee has completed its job and thanked Akpabio who is the National Coordinator of the Presidential Support Committee for giving them the opportunity to serve.

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