01 March 2016, Abuja – Auditor-General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, yesterday, made a startling revelation on how contractors, who handled projects for Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, between 2008 and 2012, disappeared with N70.5 billion mobilisation fees without going to site, let alone executing the projects.
Ukura, who spoke through Mr. Emmanuel Akpan, an Assistant Director, Public Accounts Committee Division, in his office at a public hearing organised by the Senate Public Accounts Committee, insisted that the commission’s projects were abandoned.
He added that the Auditor-General’s office, based on findings made so far, strongly believed that the total sum of the scam stood at N70,495, 993,761.
He said: “The real value of contracts on which monies have been collected by NDDC contractors during the period under review, as at the time of auditing, was N70.4 billion and not N11 billion the NDDC office is claiming.
“There is need for NDDC officials to prove that contractors involved in the close to N60 billion gap they are trying to create have actually gone to site and executed their projects.”
Ukura further disclosed that no fewer than 1,733 contractors were involved in the scam.
NDDC officials disagree.
However, while officials from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation agreed with the submission made by the Auditor-General, NDDC officials led by their acting Managing Director, Ibim Semenitari, disagreed, saying latest records available to them indicated that N11 billion projects and not N70 billion were affected by the contract scam.
NDDC’s Director of Finance, Jimoh Egbejule, said the commission had audited the projects awarded during the period under review and discovered that the said scam affected N11 billion projects and not N70.5 billion.
The contradictory submissions forced the committee, through its Chairman, Senator Andy Uba, PDP, Anambra South, to adjourn the sitting for a month.