NDDC gives contracts to NASS members — Akpabio

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio has claimed that some members of the National Assembly were beneficiaries of the contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He disclosed this while answering questions from members of the House Committee on NDDC when he appeared before the committee on Monday.

The question was put to him by a lawmaker, Boma Goodhead (PDP, Rivers).

“We give contracts to members. You may not know,” Akpabio responded.

The acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, ‘fainted’ on Monday during his presentation at the ongoing probe of the agency by the House of Representatives.

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led NDDC’s Interim Management Committee (IMC) appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta over alleged corruption.
The House of Representatives committee is investigating an alleged N82.5 billion irregular expenditure in the NDDC and Akpabio and Pondei were summoned at the last sitting of the committee on Friday.

Former NDDC Managing Director, Joy Nunieh, had appeared before the committee via Zoom on Friday where she levelled many allegations of arbitrary breach of laid down rules in awards of contracts.

Nunei had been having a running battle with the former Akwa Ibom State Governor and now the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs over what transpired at NDDC during her tenure.

The committee had, last Wednesday, interrogated officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Auditor-General of the Federation. The committee’s chairman said the documents submitted by both the CBN and the Auditor-General of the Federation showed that the total amount spent by the NDDC from January to May 2020 was N81.5 billion.

He said the commission claimed to have spent N1.3bn on community relations, N122.9m on condolences, N83m on consultancy and N3.14bn on COVID-19, N486m Duty Travel Allowance, N790.9m as imprest, N1.956bn on Lassa Fever, N900m on Legal Service, N220m on maintenance, N85.6m on foreign travels, N1.121bn on public projects communication, N744m on security, N8.8bn on staffing-related payment.

He said the NDDC also spent N248m on stakeholders’ engagement from February 18 to May 31, 2020. The Auditor-General, Anthony Ayine and the representative of the Accountant-General, Sabo Mohammed, confirmed the N81.5bn transactions being investigated.

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