In view of the astonishing revelations emerging from the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in recent days, the pan-Niger Delta Elders’ Forum (PANDEF) has urged the new committee to immediately publish the names of suspicious contractors who drained the commission of funds in any guise.
PANDEF explained that it was in full support of President MUhammadu Buahri’s desire to carry out a forensic audit on the commission, adding that it was important for the management committee to publish names of contractors, project specifications and the amount of money they collected for such jobs.
Speaking exclusively with Independent in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the forum’s spokesman, Anabs Sarah-Egbe, said: “The position of PANDEF on the forensic audit is very clear. We support the audit. We want the names of those contractors to be published so that the people of the Niger Delta will know who has been tampering with their commonwealth”.
Sarah-Egbe stated that it was a nice decision for President Buhari to transfer the NDDC from the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) to the Niger Delta Ministry. “We can monitor what goes on in the Commission from the Niger Delta Ministry. All manner of persons came to NDDC to collect contracts and we can’t even see where such contracts are located”.
The PANDEF’s spokesman stated this on the heel of the disclosure by the IMC that a sitting senator cornered about 300 jobs from the Commission and 120 of those jobs fully paid for without any evidence of execution.
Only on Tuesday, head of the IMC, Dr. Joi Nunieh, lamented that one person who owns 87 companies is troubling the leadership of the Commission to pay for contracts he claimed to have executed, yet not seen anywhere in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking on the instruction by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, that the already screened 15-man NDDC board should take over the Commission, Sarah-Egbe said the Senate had no right to ask the new board to override the decision of the President.
“The IMC was inaugurated to midwife the forensic audit exercise. I have confidence in the committee. I am from Kula community and there are such projects like road and dredging that have been abandoned. I am sure the owners of those jobs had been paid, yet, the jobs are not executed.
“The Senate cannot over-ride the Executive in this matter. Senate should not interfere in this matter. It is worrisome that a sitting senator could be identified to have collected as much as 300 jobs and 120 of those jobs paid for, yet the projects are not seen anywhere in the Niger Delta region,” he said.