President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) operations from 2001 on Thursday . The President gave the directive when he received members of the South-south Governors Forum (SGF), led by Governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson.
Buhari said the order became imperative given the persistent criticisms of the commission’s operations.
According to President Buhari, he said, what is presently on ground in the Niger Delta region does not justify the huge resources given the commission. He further explained how he try to follow the Act setting up institutions, especially the NDDC.
With the amount of money that the Federal Government has consistently allocated to the NDDC, the Federal Government will like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues.
The projects done must be verifiable. It can’t be said that billions was spent and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done. The consultants must also prove that they are competent.
Buhari admitted that developing the Niger Delta area required enormous resources compared to other parts of the country with firmer land.
He said, he is very much aware, with his experience, that projects in South-south area are very expensive; that is why if any job is given, the government must make sure that the company is competent and can do it well. The President, however, said he would wait for the audit report before deciding on the next line of action.
Dickson expressed the governors’ disappointment with NDDC’s operations. He said they were characterized by the poor choice of projects, shoddy handling, uncompleted jobs and lack of support to the states and local governments.
He, therefore, called for the commission’s repositioning to achieve its objectives.