… Say N’Delta Govs demanded forensic audit before the board

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio has urged Nigerians to stop referring to President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of a sole administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, as ‘illegality’.
According to Akpabio who stated this on Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the opening ceremony of the 4th meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta explained that even the first Executive Director of Finance and Administration acted as the sole administrator of the NDDC at various times.
“We have also had a sole administrator from River State in the person of Sime tare, we have also had one from Cross River State, as well as Mrs. Enya from Bayelsa While awaiting the confirmation of aboard.
“It’s not correct that the NDDC has done well, they have not done well, even in my time as Governor they didn’t do well. But the appointment of a sole administrator for the NDDC today can not be regarded as illegality,” he said.
He urged stakeholders to rather look at the developmental challenges facing the region before talking about the board, maintaining that the board is just a conglomeration of appointees from politicians.
Akpabio disclosed that governors from the Niger Delta region had told the President that they wanted a forensic audit of the NDDC before going ahead to bring on aboard.
He explained that the idea of interim management was to oversee the audit so that the result will be given to the new board for implementation and assured that a new board of NDDC was still coming.
“Today Buhari realized that there was a need to reposition the NDDC to meet the yearnings and aspirations of people in the region and instituted a forensic audit which is different from statutory audit,” he added.
The minister lamented a lack of harmony between development agencies and the Niger Delta state governments.
“Some State Governors have sent thugs to chase NDDC contractors out of the site even when they have no budget to develop that particular Infrastructure, so when that happens, how can that lead to harmony?
“We have a budget through the year, the NDDC looks at the budget, and stakeholders approach the NDDC to say that the state governments have left a developmental plan if they could get assistance and as an intervention agency we will say we will come to take care of it, it is that time the state governments will say that they have planned to do it in the next two years that we must leave their domain,” he added.

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