President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that a new board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), would be constituted at the end of the implementation of recommendations of the forensic audit report which is currently going on in phases.
The assurance by President Buhari is coming against the backdrop of growing calls from Niger Delta leaders and stakeholders for the reconstitution of the NDDC board.
The hint was dropped by President Buhari while declaring open the 5th National Council Meeting on Niger Delta held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
What President Buhari is saying
Buhari in his comment said, “In response to the call of the governors of the South-south geopolitical zone for a forensic audit of NDDC, I undertook some critical reforms and requested a forensic audit of NDDC from inception in 2000 to 2019.
“The report of the audit has bèen submitted and the implementation of its recommendations has commenced in phases.
“I hereby assured you that this process will eventually bring about the constitution of a new board for the commission, which is the desire of most stakeholders in the region.”
The president, who was represented by the Minister of Environment, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, lauded the leaders and youths of the region for their hard work which has brought the relative peace and security being experienced in the region.
This, he said, would certainly accelerate the development of the region and provide opportunities to improve basic services, promote economic growth, enterprise development and attract development into the Niger Delta region.
What you should know
- Recall that President Buhari had in October 2019, ordered a forensic audit report of the NDDC to probe alleged financial misappropriation from 2001 to 2019.
- The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in August 2020 approved N722.3 million for 8 auditors in addition to the N318 million earlier approved for some lead auditors who mobilised to the region in March.
- The then Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio had on August 11, 2021, received the report from the field auditors who scrutinised over 12,000 projects handled in 9 states of the Niger Delta region by the NDDC between 2001 and 2019.
- Buhari had in July 2022, said his administration had started taking steps in line with the recommendations of the NDDC’s forensic audit report submitted to him in September 2021.
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