President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the ongoing drama in the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Buhari directed security and investigating agencies to build synergy with the National Assembly to ensure sanity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the large number of resources dedicated to the development of the Niger Delta sub-region.
According to a statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, Buhari’s reaction was due to “the unfolding drama, which includes attacks and counter-attacks between and around persons, institutions, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).”
The statement continued:
“President Buhari expressed his strong determination to get to the root of the problem undermining the development of the Niger Delta and its peoples in spite of enormous national resources voted year after year for this singular purpose.
“According to the directive, auditing firms and investigative agencies working in collaboration with National Assembly Committees to resolve the challenges in the NDDC must initiate actions in a time-bound manner and duly inform the Presidency of the actions being taken.
“The President also directed timely sharing of information and knowledge in a way to speedily assist the administration to diagnose what had gone wrong in the past and what needs to be done to make corrections in order to return the NDDC to its original mandate of making life better for people in Niger Delta.
The spokesperson also stated that President Buhari’s administration wants to bring about “rapid, even and sustainable development to the region.”
Afnews earlier reported that NDDC was indicted by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation over illegal spending by the commission amounting to N81.5bn between January and July 2020.
The Bureau of Public Procurement also said it did not issue ‘Certificates of No Objection’ to the NDDC for the procurements made by the commission with the money.
Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Anyine, also said the NDDC had yet to present its audited account for 2019 since it was due at the end of May.
The revelations were made at an investigative hearing held by the House Committee on NDDC in Abuja on Wednesday.
While the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC was absent, the committee had grilled representatives of the CBN, BPP and Office of Accountant-General of the Federation.