On Wednesday, the House of Representatives, revealed many spendings by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from February to May 2020.

The total amount spent is N81.5bn was said to have left the account of the NDDC without proper process and tangible project since the IMC resumed duty.

Rep. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, revealed this during the starting event of the ongoing enquiries hearing into reported financial carelessness at the Commission.

The green chamber had on the 5th May 2020 discoursed on a move on the need to probe the reported financial carelessness and other exercised in the NDDC.

In the opening of the  event, Rep. Tunji-Ojo stated that, the enquiries hearing was not arranged to witch-hunting anybody, however it is part of patriotic services of the lawmakers to get to the root of some defraud rampaging the NDDC which was set up 20 years ago.

Tunji-Ojo said, “The visionary eyes of forerunners in our hallowed chambers caught the dire need to develop the Niger Delta region to mitigate the impact of national economic activities in the area. In the year 2000, the National Assembly established the Act that birthed The Niger Delta Development Commission with a clear mandate to develop the land and the people.

“20 years after, we must ask ourselves some critical questions as the baton of preservation falls on us, today."

The Lawmaker gave the analysis of how the money was spend at the NDDC for the period of 4 months which include, N1.3bn for Community relations; N122.9m for Condolences; N83m for online media Consultancy; N31.4bn for COVlD-19 palliative and N486m as DTA.

During this period, Rep. Tunji-Ojo stated that the NDDC spent the sum of N790.9m as imprest; N1.956bn to tackle the extension of Lassa fever; N900m for Legal services; N220m for maintenance and another N85.6m for oversea travel.

The IMC also spent the sum of N1.121bn for Project public communication; N744m on Security; N8.8bn for staff payment-related expenditure and N248m for what they explained as stakeholders engagement from February to May 2020.

Although the NDDC officially said, the inability of the management team to honour the invitation of the House Committee on Wednesday, a Director of Funds from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Sabo Mohammed, could not disputes the findings of the Lawmakers, even as he agreed that his office was a signatory to the NDDC account with Nigeria’s Apex bank.

Engr. Babatunde Kuye, who is the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on his part, confirmed to the panel that the NDDC’s spendings were not in conformity with the procurement guidelines, neither was a certificate of ‘No Objection’ issued to the management to embark on such spendings.

The Speaker of House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, while declaring the investigative hearing open, tasked the committee members to live above board and make Nigeria and the Niger Delta proud by staying on the path of objectivity and truth.

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