Senate Asks Buhari to disband NDDC Management

July 23, 2020

Senate on Thursday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission over financial recklessness.

The Senate also asked the President Buhari to move the NDDC back to the Presidency because the supervision of Ministry of Niger Delta on the Commission is weak.

The lawmakers ordered immediate refund of N4.923billion expended by the IMC on questionable items between April and June this year.

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Board of Directors , the upper legislative chamber added, is the statutory body that should run the agency at anytime and not Interim Management Committee ( IMC).

These and other far reaching recommendations , were taken by the Senate on the strength of report presented to that effect by its Ad- hoc committee on alleged financial recklessness in Niger Delta Development Commission ( NDDC).

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi in the 17- point recommendations he presented and adopted by the Senate , said the Interim Management Committee of the commission spent monies recklessly as made available from the three major sources.

From the three sources according to the report, the Commission got a total of N81.5billion between October 29, 2019 and May 31, 2020 and expended all.

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Though two different IMCs , the report stated, held the Commission during the period under review but the current one headed by Professor Daniel Pondei which assumed office on the 19th February this year , spent about 90% of the monies on items that were very questionable .

The most frivolous of the spendings , the report stated , was the N4.923billion spent between March and May this year , which it declared , must be refunded by the beneficiaries who were mostly members of the NDDC IMC , the entire staff of the Commission and the Police High Command .

The breakdown of the N4.923billion to be refunded are N1.49billion spent as relief fund for COVID-19, N1.12billion for Public Communication , N1 .96billion for procurement of Lassa Fever Kits, N164.2million claimed to have been expended on Union Members Trip to Italy , N105.5million said to have been spent on Scholarships Grants and N85.7million claimed to have been spent on Overseas Travel to the United Kingdom during total lockdown against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically on the COVID-19 relief funds, the Acting MD of the Commission , Pondei, will refund N10million , Executive Director ( Project) Dr Cairo Ojougboh , will refund N7million along with one other executive director ,

Others are 157 staffers of the Commission who collected N3million as relief fund , 148 others who collected N1.5 million each , another set of 157 others who collected N1million each and the remaining 497 staffers claimed to have been given N600,000.00 each as relief funds for COVID-19.

Out of the N1.5billion claimed to have been expended on relief funds , the balance of N475million is to be refunded by the Police High Command for allegedly collecting the sum for procurement of face masks and hand sanitizers .

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