…Senate wants IMC dissolved for lack of prudent record
The Senate committee probing misappropriation of funds in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Thursday said the agency had spent N1.3 trillion within four years, while it was guilty of some illegitimate disbursements.
The ad-hoc committee disclosed the amount at the presentation of its investigative report before the Senate days after the acting NDDC Managing Director, Prof. Daniel Pondei, slumped at a public hearing.
While reading the report, the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, specified that the NDDC spent the N1.3 trillion between 2015 and May 31, 2019, and many of the expenses, were extra-budgetary.
He added that the Committee noticed procedural inaccuracies and infractions, as well as large sum of money as expenses, were made to staff in the form of inexcusable allowances.
The investigation further exposed that the NDDC paid 4.9 billion Naira to staff for numerous allowances including COVID-19 relief, tour duty allowances, overseas trips, and foreign scholarships.
The payment for overseas travels and foreign scholarships invoked questions of the possibility, importance and authenticity of those expenses during the lockdown and interruption of flights abroad.
The committee also noticed that the ministry of Niger Delta is guilty of reckless supervision of the NDDC.
It further noted that the performance of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) is a main issue which in record lacks credibility, and that the IMC has not proven or demonstrated any prudence and thereby should be dissolved.
The committee also called for urgent attention over the forensic audit initiated by President Buhari, stating that it is at a still as basic stage with the recruitment of the auditors still underway even after eight months.