The interim report on the forensic auditing of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) account has revealed that over 12,128 projects with no clear-cut ownership were built and abandoned even as they all have become sanctuaries for hoodlums and kidnappers.
Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who made the disclosure while receiving the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Hajia Amina Mohammed, in his office on Tuesday, stated that in order to stop such anomalies, a systematic implementation work plan has been developed within the ministry to avoid duplication of projects.
He said: “The interim report on the auditing of the NDDC account is very revealing. Over twelve thousand, one hundred and twenty-eight (12,128) projects with no clear-cut ownership, were built and abandoned and they all became sanctuaries for hoodlum and kidnappers.
“In order to stop this anomaly, we have developed within the ministry, a system called Strategic Implementation Work Plan, where whatever is on ground is captured to avoid duplication of projects, he stressed.”
The Minister described the visit of the Deputy UN Scribe as “homecoming of someone who did a lot for the region in the area of environment and security,” saying that the region is the most peaceful in Nigeria, a feat achieved through the engagement of strategic stakeholders whenever any slight sign of discontent is noticed.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has done so well for the region, through adequate funding of interventionist agencies, because of his committed interest in the development of the region. And that was why, when the South-South governors met with the President and demanded an audit of the account of NDDC (because they believed so much has been released to the agency in the past and nothing on ground to show for it), he immediately accented to their request by ordering a forensic audit into the finance of the commission.
“The President is determined to commission the East-West road by next year and has just commissioned the 25-year old abandoned headquarters building of the NDDC.”
On calls for secession, Akpabio stated, “Let me inform you here that we the South-South are not interested in any form of secession. Our stakeholders have said so repeatedly and we stand by that. Let me also call on the UN to assist the Niger Delta people in the area of security, provision of infrastructure and empowerment of our teeming youth”.
Speaking, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, commended the effort of the Minister for his efforts at ensuring continuous peace in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, saying that such a gesture should not be taken for granted.
She said her interest in the Niger Delta Region stemmed from the fact that she was deeply involved in the granting of amnesty to former militants in the region by former President Umar Yar’Adua before her inter-ministerial engagement.
Speaking further, the Deputy UN Scribe noted: “The UN agenda for the nations must also be seen in the Niger Delta, and we would be very happy to collaborate with the Niger Delta Ministry.
“The Ministry needs very strong institutions to drive home the goals and objectives that were set by those who established the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).”