By Ebi Perekeme
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, March 9, said plans were afoot by stakeholders in the Niger Delta to meet in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to deliberate on the future of the oil-rich area.
Addressing newsmen after the inauguration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Advisory Committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Akpabio disclosed that the meeting had been scheduled for March 29 to April 4, 2020.
His words: “We are also going to have the fourth national council of stakeholders of the Niger Delta region to discuss the way forward for the region, including proper briefing in writing of this forensic audit and what will happen to the region thereafter.
“The exercise will commence from March 29 and will last all the way till April in Port Harcourt. The governors have also agreed to use one of those days to have another major meeting of the advisory committee.”
The minister hinted that about 55 companies, both local and international that have contracts with the NDDC, were going through evaluation as a result of the forensic audit embarked upon by the government to determine the status of the commission.
“On the forensic audit, 55 companies are now going through the evaluation, the majority of them are international firms,” he added.
Akpabio said the lead consultant to the forensic audit had divided the region into 16 lots based on the large volume of work.
He said the effort would also be made in the area of personnel auditing as well as recommendation of a governance structure for the region to check future excesses.