The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, declared that he stays focused on delivering a territorial guide for improvement through the Niger Delta Action Plan.
Akpabio announced this at the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Permanent Headquarters, Port Harcourt on Monday; as a feature of his working visit to the Niger Delta which is intended to team up; and also create development strategies for the locale.
This comes after the ongoing National House of Assembly test against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC. The commission claimed that it burned through N81.5 billion inside 7 months (October 2019 to May 2020).
The senate petitioned the IMC of the NDDC to refund the N4.923 billion alleged illegal payments; made to the staff of the commission and contractors in breach of the procurement process.
The refund which the senate wants refunded includes Overseas Travel to the United Kingdom N85.7million; Scholarship grants N105.5 million; as well as Union Members’ trip to Italy N164.2 million.
The other refunds which the senate wants made to the NDDC’s Account by the IMC are: payment made for Lassa Fever Kit N1.96 billion; also payment for Public Communication valued at N1.12 billion; as well as COVID-19 fund expenditure N1.49 billion.
In August, The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) interrogated the top management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); over allegations of numerous acts of corruption; including diversion of funds; also procurement fraud; as well as misappropriation of the agency’s COVID-19 funds.
Godswill Akpabio, acknowledged today that the NDDC has not lived up to expectations, he said. “Whether we like it or not, this child (NDDC) has not grown well in 19 years. It could have done better. Perhaps, we lost track of the developmental plan of the Niger Delta region. The most thrilling thing for me is that change has come to the NDDC. I must commend the management and staff of the NDDC for making this possible. Despite the criticisms and distractions; some positive change has taken place in the Commission; and I like to see progress because I am a development-oriented politician.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Babayo Ardo said the Commission is pulling together its endeavors towards viable assistance conveyance, encouraging for additional activities towards a ground breaking strategy for territorial advancement in the Niger Delta.