Buhari on NDDC audit: we will recover every stolen funds


Those seeking information on the forensic audit report submitted on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) got an answer from President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.

The President assured Nigerians that every kobo stolen from the agency would be recovered and everyone indicted in the audit report would be prosecuted.

Buhari gave the assurance yesterday during the virtual commissioning of the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

There have been calls from relevant Niger Delta stakeholders for the release of the audit report and the inauguration of the Commission’s governing board by the President.

The President said the report of the forensic audit was being reviewed for the purpose recovering stolen funds and recommending culprits for punishment.

Buhari, however, expressed regrets that the special development fund of the entire region was squandered by a few for more than 20 years, leaving many in penury, noting that had the funding made available over the years been judiciously and transparently used, the lives of the people of the oil-rich region would have been far better.

He said the Commission should prove to both government and the people of the Niger Delta that it could achieve the set objectives and mandates for which it was conceptualised and created, even as he directed all statutory contributors to its funding to meet their obligations by remitting all outstanding funds, transparently, to the interventionist agency.

The President said: “The Niger Delta Development Commission needs to demonstrate that it can achieve the objectives it was conceived for and make its impact felt all over the Niger Delta Region.

“The lives of the people of the Niger Delta could be so much better, if the funding received by this commission since its inception, in billions of naira over the last 20 years, have been judiciously deployed in service of the people.

“The serial abuse, lack of delivery and what had become an entrenched institutional decay, was the reason I called for the forensic audit.

“Therefore, going forward we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region and those found culpable shall face the law.

“Consequently, I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, and to ensure this is done transparently and according to laid down procedure and process.”

The President directed that all abandoned projects that directly impact the livelihood of the people should be revived and completed.

He said: “When I directed the minister of Niger Delta Affairs to institute a forensic audit of the Commission, after many representations by major stakeholders in the Niger Delta, I had also directed that all viable projects which had been abandoned, but which would impact positively on the lives and livelihoods of the people, be immediately revived and completed.”

President Buhari noted that the contract for the building of 1,050 capacity hostel for male and female students was awarded in 2004, and like many others, it was abandoned.

“This prototype university hostel consists of 1,050 bed spaces, 525 each for males and females, and is furnished to meet the needs of a university student. The complex also boasts of significant hard and soft infrastructure to ensure its sustainability and durability.


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