The House of Representatives Committee on abandoned Projects awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission yesterday directed the commission to recover over N67 billion and other monies disbursed for contracts.
The directive was issued by the chairman of the committee, Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP Delta), at the resumed hearing of the committee. He was responding to submissions by the NDDC management team led by its Acting Managing Director Akwaga Enyia who appeared before the committee to give details of contracts awarded by the commission. The committee urged the NDDC to recover N61.4 billion from contractors who abandoned sites and another N5.8 billion alleged excess payment to others as discovered in a preliminary report of the investigation by the committee. According to the committee chairman, over 600 contractors were dubiously awarded contracts by the NDDC across the states of jurisdiction.
An official the NDDC told the lawmakers that 49 of the contracts awarded across the Niger Delta regions were terminated and 342 others stalled. The committee’s chairman said findings revealed that the commission, apart from engaging in questionable dealings, lacked effective control mechanism in contract awards and project finance which led to flagrant abuse of due process. He directed that all former MDs of the NNDC be invited to attend the next hearing slated for today.
According to a document submitted by the NDDC management during the hearing, the commission’s approved budgets from 2008 to 2018 stood at N2,832,611,325,966; and the total receipts, N1,848,774,602,103. A member of the committee, Suleman Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, said what was discovered was shocking, saying the committee had exposed the level of corruption in the NDDC. He said the committee would submit its report to the House and that anybody found culpable in depriving the Niger Delta people of the needed development by short-changing them through the NDDC would be prosecuted by relevant agencies.