***Urges FG to give room to EFCC to take over audit
By Ochuko Akuopha – Oleh
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said the governors of the South-South region were “totally embarrassed” by the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, saying “we currently being fooled, we are not happy about it”
Fielding questions from newsmen at Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area, shortly after the inauguration of the dualized Emore Road and Emore Grammer School, Okowa urged the Federal Government to give room for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC to take over the audit.
He said: “We are totally embarrassed that after several months we have not been able to reconstitute the board of the NDDC.
“As governors, we have spoken. What is going on at the moment is not the best for our region, it is not the best for the oil producing states.
“In the first instance, you have a sole administrator that is unknown to law. When we have a full board, the full board has representation from each state and people are able to speak for their States and ensure that there is justice and equity in the distribution of amenities and facilities.
“That we cannot be assured of as at now because you are running a sole administratorship which is foreign to us. I do believe also that the earlier the board is inaugurated, the more we can truly plan.
“We cannot hide under the fact that we are doing a forensic audit. That does not stop us from inaugurating a board because the board forward-looking while you are doing your forensic examination which is about the past.
“Allow a new board to come in to start functioning and when the report of the forensic audit does come the board can still look at it and know what actions to take or the Federal Government can take those actions that need to be taken.
“We are currently being fooled; we are not happy about it and when our people do agitate, we believe that they are doing so in the right direction.
“I think the time has come for the presidency to listen to the South-South governors and all of us from the oil-producing states to please quickly inaugurate the board because we are suffering from it.
“We believed that as of today, the funds of that agency is not being managed equitably and it is not being managed in such a way that we can truly say that are accountable.
“The EFCC can take over the issue of the forensic audit because we know it is not for the board to handle.
“The board can only handle those projects but any fraudulent act of the past can be taken over by the EFCC and justice can be done to that.
“We cry to Mr. President today, we add our voice those of persons from the oil producing states to say that we urgently need a board for the NDDC. It is for the best interest of the oil producing states and the nation.”