NDDC fast-tracks projects, debunks allegation of missing N183bn

Mkpoikana Udoma 03 September 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has restated its commitment to completing all its on-going projects across the Niger Delta region.

NDDCMaking this commitment while inspecting three projects in Abua-Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State, the NDDC Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Dr. Henry Ogiri, said the current management of the commission had recorded notable achievements because of its judicious application of financial resources.

Dr. Ogiri, who was accompanied by the Executive Director, Projects, Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli, inspected the 23.5-kilometre Otuasega-Obedum-Emelego road project, linking Bayelsa and Rivers states; an e-library and a model primary school in Abua.

He said that the commission would remain focused on its mandate to quicken the pace of development in the Niger Delta, in spite of allegations of financial impropriety.

Debunking allegations that N183.7 billion of NDDC funds could not be accounted for between 2008 and 2012, he said the claims in the special audit reports submitted to the National Assembly by the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr Samuel Ukura, were “premature and misleading.”

He said: “I find the report very misleading and untrue. It tended to portray the current management as being responsible for the missing money when in fact the period covered by the report is 2008-2012.

“I will say without fear of contradiction that the Auditor-General’s report is premature. I say this because we are already putting together the responses to the queries which were directed to a period we were not in the commission.”

“I completely disagree with the Auditor-General on this issue. Some of the claims he made in his report are things that do not hold water as at today. However, we are at an advanced stage of writing our own report. But from our preliminary findings, I do not believe that there is any money missing.

“The current management is quite capable of giving a proper account of the Commission’s finances based on available records. It does not matter that we were not there for the period under review.”

The finance director faulted claims made by the Auditor-General, describing some of them as things that had been passed on to suspense account at the time of the audit.

He said that these accounts had since been reconciled and noted that issues of wrong classification were regarded as monies that were missing.

Dr. Ogiri said that the NDDC had since introduced some changes meant to checkmate incompetent contractors.

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