During a press conference, the NDDC Acting Executive Director of Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh declared that besides securing 300 contracts for himself alone, 120 of the contracts have been fully paid for while none has been executed.
ElombahNews had, on November 4, reported how the interim Management of NDDC revealed that a Serving Senator is single-handedly handling about 300 contracts for the Commission .
Dr Ojougboh however, did not say if the contracts were executed. He also did not name the Senator.
Ojougboh said the contracts were under investigation, adding that NDDC owes contractors about N3 trillion.
The acting director said the ongoing forensic audit would help uncover how the debt was accrued.
He said those opposed to the audit have something to hide, as they must have played a role in NDDC’s mismanagement.
Ojougboh accused the unnamed Senator of sponsoring a smear campaign against the interim management, which he said would function for less than six months and hand over to the substantive board.
Recall that few weeks earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a forensic audit of NDDC books from 2001 to date.
A statement by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, said President Buhari gave the directive after receiving governors of the states that make up the NCDC, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
The President said what was presently on ground in the South-South region did not justify the huge resources that had been made available to the agency.
He said, “I try to follow the Act setting up these institutions especially the NDDC.
“With the amount of money that the Federal Government has religiously allocated to the NDDC, we will like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues.
“The projects said to have been done must be verifiable.
“You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done.
“The consultants must also prove that they are competent.”
Meanwhile, the NDDC is yet to complete its headquarters but it already owes some phantom contractors three (3) trillion naira.
In the words of an analyst on Niger Delta affairs, “Niger Deltans keep blaming the north for their underdevelopment but, they can’t simply understand that their regional leaders are the architects of their woes.”
Lola Seriki Idahosa/News
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