The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation have indicated that between January and July 2020 about N81.5 billion was spent by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Bureau of Public Procurement also said it did not issue ‘Certificates of No Objection’ to the NDDC for the procurements made by the commission with the money.
Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Anyine, also said the NDDC had yet to present its audited account for 2019 since it was due at the end of May.
The revelations were made at an investigative hearing held by the House Committee on NDDC in Abuja on Wednesday.
While the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC was absent, the committee had grilled representatives of the CBN, BPP and Office of Accountant-General of the Federation.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who briefed journalists after the hearing, said the allegation of mismanagement and illegal spending by the NDDC was already being confirmed by the lawmakers.
Tunji-Ojo said, “Obviously, we have grilled the BPP and they will be coming back tomorrow for finalisation of their submission. And from what we have seen, so many of the contracts so awarded were above NDDC’s approval threshold as itemised by the BPP.”
Tunji-Ojo said the committee would take more evidences on Thursday, while the IMC of NDDC, which claimed to be attending the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, was also expected to “talk to Nigerian people, especially the Niger Delta people.”
Earlier in his opening speech, the lawmaker gave a breakdown of the N81.5bn as including community relations, N1.3bn; condolences, N122.9m; consultancy, N83m; COVID-19, N3.14bn; duty tour allowances, N486m; imprest, N790.9m; Lassa fever, N1.956bn; Legal services, N900m; maintenance, N220m; oversea travels, N85.6m; project public communication, N1.121bn; security, N744m; staffing related payments, N8.8bn; and stakeholders engagement (Feb 18 – May 31, 2020), N248m.