The Senate on Thursday gave recommendations after getting findings from the NDDC probe, they called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged financial recklessness.
The Senate also recommended that the NDDC should be returned to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for proper supervision.
The agency which was formerly supervised by the SGF is now being oversighted by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, under Senator Godswill Akpabio, following recent directives by the presidency.
The upper chamber also called on the current IMC to refund the N4.923billion it paid to staff and contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals.
The resolutions of the Senate followed its consideration and adoption of the recommendations of its “Ad hoc Committee on the investigation of the alleged financial recklessness in the NDDC.”
In the report read by the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, the NDDC spent the N1.3 trillion between 2015 and May 31, 2019.
Many of the expenses, Adetunmbu said, were extra-budgetary.
He added that the Committee observed process errors and infractions, as well as substantial payments, were made to staff in the form of unjustifiable allowances.
He said the committee observed process errors and infractions, as well as substantial payments, were made to staff in the form of unjustifiable allowances.
The investigation further revealed that the NDDC paid 4.9 billion Naira to staff for numerous allowances including COVID-19 relief, tour duty allowances, overseas travel, and international scholarships.
Curiously, the payment for overseas travel and scholarship was during the lockdown and cessation of flights abroad.
The committee also observed that the ministry of Niger delta is culpable if negligent supervision of the NDDC.
It further noted that the performance of the interim management committee IMC is a major issue as the record of the IMC has not shown any record of prudence and it should be dissolved.
The committee also raised an alarm over the forensic audit called for by President Buhari, stating that it is at a rudimentary level with the recruitment of the auditors still underway even after eight months.