Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has directed that all contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, must henceforth be verified before payment is made.
This was even as the Minister ordered that all contract papers for payment must be submitted to Field Forensic Auditors for verification before NDDC can pay.
Akpabio gave the directive when he flagged off the Project Site Verification exercise by NDDC Forensic Auditors in the nine states of the region in Akwa Ibom State.
He disclosed that the exercise, which was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for development and sustenance of peace in the Niger Delta region, would establish amongst others, the exact status of all contracts for projects and services classified into completed, uncompleted, abandoned, ongoing and non-existing in all the constituents of the states during the period under review.
He disclosed that President Buhari has approved the purchase of 33 vehicles for the Forensic Auditors to enhance movement across the nine States.
“The Auditors would be expected to submit a comprehensive report within 3-4 months to be sent to Mr. President as soon as their work is accomplished, you have seen the readiness of the team, it is suicidal to send these people to undertake this task without adequate security back-up, that is why there is need for security apparatus to be set-up,” he said.
He further lamented that the NDDC as an institutional structure established to spearhead the development of the region has failed to deliver on its mandate despite the huge sums of money budgeted and expended over the years for this purpose by the Federal Government.
He recalled that following the approval of the President and the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for the Forensic Audit of the NDDC, the Lead Forensic Auditor was inaugurated on September 29, 2020, and subsequently, 16 Field Auditors, as well as the Forensic Audit Security Committee to provide security protection for the audit exercise in the states.
Akpabio hinted that Buhari would be commissioning about 64 classrooms and appreciable road projects across the region undertaken by the NDDC in the next few weeks, while work is ongoing on the East-West Road.

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