THROWBACK: Akpabio, Niger Delta Ministry, and forensic audit of the NDDC

Olamilekan Quadri AlimiAugust 24, 20233 min

Four years after an ex-lawmaker was appointed Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, President Bola Tinubu towed the same path this week with the appointment of Hon. Abubakar to head the Ministry. What issues are bedevilling the region, and what key questions are begging for answers?

 

 

READ ALSO: Reps chide IOCs over role in indebtedness, fiscal incapacity of NDDC

 

फ़ोटो के बारे में कोई जानकारी नहीं दी गई है.

 

July 12, 2022

Then Minister of  Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in an interview with Arise TV, stated that he has good intentions towards the development of the region.

According to him, “the Niger Delta of my dream would be the Niger Delta that Akwa Ibom State experienced between 2007 and 2015.”He buttressed this with the point that he would like to witness “a region of solid infrastructure, a region when you want to build a five star infrastructure, you go with five star construction companies, a region that could turn around a locality like my state capital Uyo from being a local government headquarter into a metropolis.”

Lamenting what he described as a challenge of leadership in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and misappropriation of funds, Akpabio noted that the Commission duplicates projects done by the state governments within the region. Arguing that President Muhammadu Buhari had the political will to develop the region, Akpabio explained that the right leadership in the NDDC for proper supervision is what was left for the aspiration of the people to be achieved.

 

 

READ ALSO: NDDC: “Probe unauthorised 2021, 2022 expenditure” – Senate to Adhoc C’ttee

 

The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State confirmed that there was an ongoing forensic audit of NDDC’s account since its inception in 2000 while asserting that “this is the first President since year 2000 that have ordered for forensic audit of the NDDC to know what has gone wrong with the agency.”

Akpabio thus noted that “because you cannot have so much trillions going in there and nothing is seen on the ground, so as soon as forensic audit was ordered, all went balance.” He thereafter concluded that the answer to the challenges at the NDDC is a forensic audit.

With nearly four years now gone and Akpabio now Chairman of the country’s federal parliament. Wouldn’t it be time to ask what the outcome of the audit report was? Is the 10th National Assembly even aware of this report?

If so, what would be the contributions of the 10th Senate and House Committees to improving the Niger Delta region under the new leadership of the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, Hon. Abubakar Momoh? Is the experience of having an ex-lawmaker likely to impact (positively) the Ministry’s goals?

These and many more are questions begging for answers.


READ ALSO: Ayetoro: Senate probes NDDC multi-billion naira shoreline protection contract


Olamilekan Quadri Alimi

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