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NDDC’s 2019 budget was padded with over 500 fake projects, says MD

NDDC’s 2019 budget was padded with over 500 fake projects, says MD
May 26
22:15 2020
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Kemebradikumo Pondei, acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), says the agency’s 2019 budget was padded with over 500 non-existing projects.

Addressing journalists in Rivers state on Tuesday, Pondei said a huge amount of money was appropriated for non-existing projects.

He was speaking in reaction to allegations of corruption levelled against the interim management committee (IMC).

He said the interim management committee made the discovery while investigating the 2019 appropriation to the commission.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 ordered a forensic audit of NDDC finances and the audit took effect in April.

The acting managing director said the commission’s 2019 budget will terminate on May 31 without any project executed in the Niger Delta during the fiscal year.

“We discovered that after NDDC forwarded its budget to the national assembly committees on NDDC, what was sent back to the commission was no longer recognisable,” he said.

“The 2019 budget was classically over padded, with almost 500 new projects inserted to it when it was sent back to us.

“We found out the budget appropriation was done in such a way that meaningful projects were allocated very little sums of money.

“It is unfortunate that the 2019 budget will expire on May 31 without any project executed in the region. It was passed two months to the end of its implementation period.

“It is worrying that rather than being a major intervention agency, the commission has been reduced to erecting street lights and constructing drainage, something local governments should do.”

Pondei said the alleged misappropriated funds by the IMC was from people “afraid that the ongoing forensic audit would reveal their corrupt dealings with past NDDC managements.“

He described the ongoing probe by the national assembly committees on NDDC as an attempt to “arm-twist and force the IMC to tamper with the forensic audit.”

“We have faced so much pressure from some members of the national assembly not to send certain files to forensic auditors. We refused because we fear this will compromise the process,” he added.

“Similarly, we have also faced pressure to pay for 132 jobs which have no proof of execution as well as pay out N6.4 billion for those jobs. We believe that an IMC set up as a cleansing structure cannot become part of an old story of rot.”

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2 Comments

  1. Observant Observer
    Observant Observer May 26, 23:27

    Can we all clap for Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei! I hope this would not be the last glorious clap. I asked because every new appointee in the professorial grade always know the right thing to do in the first few months before willfully stepping on banana peel. Where is the fraudulent Dibu Ojerinde, I’m not sure half of his recovery has been made. The fast fingered Professor Charles Dokubo has since bolted with his feet in flashier dashes than Ussain Bolt, leaving his equally corrupt management to do dangerous “Handing Over” to the Caretaker Committee. He probably fled like a thief to Britain to frustrate the extradition process. Usman Yusuf of the NHIS was another “come and criminally chop” case. When full recovery is effected, he might be more reckless than his wantonly corrupt counterpart Dibu Ojerinde, all mutually distinguishing themselves as rabid fraudsters. Instead of helping the system, these are men whose only credentials is to loot and plunder the system in diverse financial heists for self and self only in a most unpatriotic manner like uncle James Ibori, Alamiyesegha and Lucky. It was like they had a mutual agreement/ covenant with Tafa Balogun in fleecing the nation.
    Learnt our new Head of Service issued a query to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agric Dr Mohammed Bello on a matter relating to 7Billion Naira! Were it not for God who exposed Winifred Oyo Ita now named by her 3 Billion Naira criminal activities as WININNFRAUD OYO-EATER, former HEAD OF STEALING (HOS), she would have been the one issuing that query why comfortably bleeding the nation blue! The question then is who is deceiving who?
    This nation has suffered mind-boggling looting and plundering almost to comatose, remember Atiku Kigo, Essai Dangabar, Inuwa Wada and Ufoma Cyril-Attang 14 billion police pension fraud. Those were highway robbers civil servants per excellence. Magu and the team at EFCC should start seeking in collaboration with statutory authority how to repatriate Charles Dokubo, while the vetting of all contracts begin afresh. The gentleman who was Director of Finance Ilem Ilem-Iyam should be recalled to substantiate his valid claims which were swept under the carpet. Nigeria needs to know before it becomes another Diezeanni Maduekwe conundrum.
    Incidentally, all these “professors of fraud” who are abysmally worthless in character profess one faith or the other, as opaque and shadowy hypocrites. In some cases some built mosques, others churches. What has Nigeria turned into?
    I sincerely hope that Professor Pondei will make a difference. The issue with Niger Delta is that these are natives called to deliver their people but who chose to predate on them as mere vultures. Until some of these “Professors of Corruption” are sentenced to deserving long term, the choice to steal is made wide opened. Please permit me to say that those who serve in each of these management are equally guilty. Without their collusion, fraud can hardly succeed. By the time vetting and forensic audit of contracts commences actively, we shall successfully mine these rogues and crooks as alternative oil in the process of recovering and restoring Nigeria economy. Again may Kemebradikumo Pondei be a Daniel in these terrible season like the gentleman in Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede.
    May I with all patriotic instinct appeal to Premium Times once again to publish this comment without tampering with it nor outrightly killing it. The future of this nation and coming generations is seriously at stake.
    By the way, where is Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, please arise Sir, to help Nigeria.

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