By Babajide Okeowo
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said his administration is reviewing the concluded forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with a view to recovering every kobo that is recoverable.
This is even as he pledged to prosecute those found culpable in accordance with the law.
The president made this known while speaking in Abuja at the virtual commissioning of the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom
According to the President, it was regrettable that the special development fund of the entire region was squandered by a few for more than 20 years, leaving many in penury.
“The serial abuse, lack of delivery and what had become an entrenched institutional decay was the reason why I called for the forensic audit,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
“Therefore, going forward we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region and those found culpable shall face the Law.
“Consequently, I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, and to ensure this is done transparently and according to laid down procedure and process.
“The Niger Delta Development Commission needs to demonstrate that it can achieve the objectives it was conceived for and make its impact felt all over the Niger Delta Region. The lives of the people of the Niger Delta could be so much better, if the funding received by this commission since its inception, in billions of naira over the last 20 years, has been judiciously deployed in service of the people.”
President Buhari directed that all abandoned projects that directly impact the livelihood of the people should be revived and completed.
This is even as he noted that the contract for the building of 1,050 capacity hostel for male and female students was awarded in 2004, and like many others, it was abandoned.
He added, “When I directed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to institute a forensic audit of the Commission, after many representations by major stakeholders in the Niger Delta, I had also directed that all viable projects which had been abandoned, but which would impact positively on the lives and livelihoods of the people, be immediately revived and completed.”
“This prototype university hostel consists of 1,050-bed spaces, 525 each for males and females, and is furnished to meet the needs of a university student. The complex also boasts of significant hard and soft infrastructure to ensure its sustainability and durability.
“The completion of this structure is equally in recognition of the importance government attaches to providing quality housing and improved education for all Nigerians.”