The Nigerian Senate on Thursday asked the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to refund the N4.923billion purportedly paid to its staff and contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals.
The Upper chamber of the National Assembly also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led IMC of the interventionist agency over alleged financial recklessness.
These were part of the resolutions of the senate as it considered and adopted the recommendations of its “Ad hoc Committee on the investigation of the alleged financial recklessness in the NDDC,” led by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi.
The lawmakers expressed regret that their inability to properly carry out effective oversight on the commission and its management team led by Pondei may have contributed in the monumental corruption rocking the commission at the moment.
The Senate also recommended that the commission should be returned to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) where it was initially domiciled until it was moved to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs following presidential directives, for proper monitoring and supervision.
The chairman of the adhoc committee has earlier lamented that it was difficult to find a correlation between Niger Delta community development and cash invested in the zone in view his committee’s discoveries.
“It may be useful at this juncture for the Government to intervene by stepping down the EIMC (Executive Interim Management Committee), thereby helping them leave the stage for a properly constituted board with specific mandate to address the pains of the Niger Delta people.”
“The Committee said that the IMC should be made to refund extra budgetary expenditure of N4.923billion payment to staff and contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals. Monies to be refunded by the IMC include cost for overseas travel to the United Kingdom in the sum of N85.7million, Scholarships Grants – N105.5million, Union Members trip to Italy – N164.2million, Lassa Fever Kit – N1.96billon, Public Communication – N1.2billion and COVID-19 Relief -N1.49billon.”