Business, Economy

Minister, Godswill Akpabio denies collecting N500m NDDC projects

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Friday, denied collecting and executing projects worth N500m in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

He stated this when he appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee on the alleged misappropriation of N40bn in the intervention agency by the Interim Management Committee between October last year and May this year.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, had at a news conference recently accused Akpabio of securing the projects without executing them.

NewsWireNGR had reported that the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, had on Thursday said that the allegations of financial recklessness and misappropriation of funds leveled against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) are unacceptable, hence the decision by the Senate to beam its searchlight on the commission.

Lawan stated this in an address to declare open an investigative public hearing by the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on the Alleged Financial Recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission, currently holding at the National Assembly complex.

The Senate President, who underscored the need for the prudent application of public funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs), emphasised that, same had become imperative in view of scarce resources at the disposal of the Federal Government.

“Financial recklessness is not an attribute that anyone can afford, whether rich or poor. It is even worse with the poor, or for the organisation or a country with limited resources.

“This is the reason we have always highlighted the need for prudence in the application of public resources. The time when public resources is seen as nobody’s resources is long gone. We are in trying times, when we all have to be concerned about judicious use of scarce incomes.

“The NDDC is an important statutory agency that is supposed to improve the lot of the Niger Delta community. It is therefore unacceptable to hear about inappropriate use of resources, or outright financial recklessness,” Lawan said.

According to Lawan, the weighty allegations of misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N80 billion by the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC prompted the upper chamber to investigate the Commission.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio was absent on Thursday as the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of the alleged financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) commenced investigation on Tuesday.

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