By Emma Amaize
NIGER DELTA Enterprise Initiative, NDEI, Monday, said the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, should continue as planned, to determine how the N15 trillion allocated to the Commission in the last 19 years was spent without result.
President of the group, George Kerley, in a statement, said: “In 19 years, NDDC has received about fifteen trillion naira in allocation yet there is almost nothing to show. No first-class quality roads, or bridges or schools or related infrastructure.”
“Roads and related infrastructure built through NDDC contracts in the past years have been known to last for less than two years. This should not be so.
“Multi-billion naira projects for which huge sums have been released to contracts have either been completely abandoned or poorly completed. It is important to keep a tab on such high-value projects and interrogate the contractors who absconded with monies meant for development projects.
“The decision of the Federal Government to conduct a forensic audit on the operations and activities of the Commission is a timely one that must be applauded by all well-meaning Niger Deltans.
“Most of all, the fact that this will be done under the supervision of the Ministry of Niger Delta led by a former Governor of a Niger Delta State, Akwa Ibom State, the highest oil-producing state in the Niger Delta, is also a welcome development.
“The fact that Akpabio is also a former member of the Upper House of the National Assembly is also a strong value-added bonus.
“Hopefully, we expect that the honourable Minister will ensure and oversee the deployment of timely and sustainable infrastructure across the Niger Delta just as he delivered in his 8-year tenure as Governor of Akwa Ibom State where he was nicknamed the ‘Uncommon Transformer’.
“The Niger Delta is in dire need of world-class infrastructure and it is our belief that Godswill Akpabio has what it takes to bring much of this to fruition especially the long-delayed East-West road,” he said.