Since the inception of NDDC in year 2000, the activities of the Commission (NDDC) have been synonymous with controversies. Over the years, several allegations of corrupt activities, bordering on fraud, misappropriation of funds had trailed the Commission.
Raising a series of corruption allegations against the Interim Management Committee in an open letter to the President, the body noted that the appeal had become imperative in order to prevent further underground looting and unprecedented frauds presently going on in the commission
In recent times, the presidency had discouraged the award of new contracts to enable the Commission address the issue of abandoned projects and sanities the system.
The recent revelations of fraud against the Interim Management Committee of NDDC has been a great cause for concern across Niger Delta region, with the people watching to see what the administration would do with the available evidences
Back in March, a group known as the Niger Delta People’s Movement against Corruption and Injustice, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to act swiftly and halt the alleged corruption being perpetrated by members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC in the interest of the region.
In the letter signed by its Executive Director, Dr. Tamuno Torulagha, the body also faulted the setting up of Interim Management Committee and the submerging of NDDC under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, describing both move as a gross violation of the act establishing the commission as an interventionist agency.
In November 2019, the House of Representatives had ordered an investigation of the Commission over alleged illegal expenditure without appropriation. The House also invited the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the board of the NDDC to explain the unapproved spending.
The House further mandated the House Committee on the NDDC to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the financial activities of the commission and report back within four weeks.
This resolution followed the adoption of a motion titled, ‘Call for an investigation of the alleged failure and refusal by the NDDC to submit its budget for 2019 to the National Assembly for approval’, moved by Hon Benjamin Kalu.
Before the motion was put to a voice vote, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said he really did not want to believe that the NDDC would be making expenditure without appropriation, adding that sometimes, it could be an indictment on the House itself.
Again, at the resumption of plenary last Tuesday, members of the National Assembly passed a resolution to investigate an allegation of N40billion fraud against the IMC of the NDDC.
While the Senate raised a seven-member ad-hoc committee to look into the allegation, the House summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio, and the IMC to explain to the House the plan of the commission to ameliorate the effect of the present economic situation on the region.