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NDDC Received N6tn In 19 Years – Malami

Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Nigeria's Attorney-General

September 09, (THEWILL) – The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has disclosed that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) received over N6 trillion in the last 19 years.

Malami made the disclosure during the presentation of the forensic audit report earlier submitted by the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

“It is on record that between 2001 and 2019, the federal government has approved N3, 375, 735,776,794.93 as budgetary allocation and N2,420,948,894,191.00 as income from statutory and non-statutory sources, which brings the total figure to approximately six trillion naira given to the Niger Delta Development Commission,” Malami said.

He recalled that the president had ordered a forensic audit of the activities of the Commission from inception to August 2019 in response to the yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta region for its repositioning for effective service delivery. He said the call for the audit by the people of the region arose from the huge gap between resources invested and infrastructural, human and economic development.

“Consequently, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the engagement of a lead forensic auditor, as well as 16 reputable audit firms to conduct the audit exercise.

“The president is delighted that the auditors have now completed this exercise and the report has been presented. The president is not oblivious of the interest generated by stakeholders towards the forensic audit exercise and the agitation for the constitution of the board of the NDDC. However, this administration is determined to address challenges militating against the delivery of the mandate of the NDDC to the people of the Niger Delta region.

“It is in the broader context of the foregoing developments that the president recently signed into Law the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which has been a contentious issue over the years for successive governments, to bring about the prudence and accountability in the petroleum sector and to give a sense of participation and ownership to the host communities,” he added.

Malami assured that the report and its recommendations will be critically analysed for necessary action and implementation.

“The welfare and socio- economic inclusion of the Niger Delta region is paramount to the development and security of the degion and by extension the country.

“Funds spent on development activities should as a consequence promote political and socio-economic stability in the Region. Citizens affected by these development projects should also exhibit the ability to contribute to the continuous progress of their immediate and wider communities by engaging in constructive activities that will sustain and supports these development projects.

“It is evident that considerable resources have been channeled by the Federal Government to the development of the Niger Delta from 2001 to 2019. It is therefore important for the Federal Government and the public to be properly informed of what has been spent and how that has been spent.”

He said the essence of the forensic audit is to ensure probity and accountability in the use of public funds, adding that the federal government will strategically implement all aspects of the audit exercise that will promote probity and greater prosperity for the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as a whole.

He hinted that the President has directed that the forensic audit report be forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for a legal review even as relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies will be engaged in doing justice to the findings accordingly.

“My appreciation also goes to the Lead Forensic Auditors and the 16 Field Audit Firms for completing this exercise, as well as the Security Committee for securing the lives and properties of the Audit Firms throughout the duration of the forensic audit exercise,” Malami added.