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By Blessing Olaifa, Abuja
Minister of Niger/Delta Affairs, Senator Godwill Akpabio has ordered the suspension of all payments for contracts executed by the immediate past management of the Niger/Delta Development Commisssion (NDDC).
He lamented the NDDC for over 20 years has failed to live up to its responsibilities.
He said it was disheartening that NDDC is yet occupying a rented building as its head office while paying over 200 million yearly as rent and incurring a debt profile of over two trillion naira over the years.
He said payments made for all jobs executed in the past one month would be subjected to forensic analysis and audit to determine if they are genuine.
Records of the commission, he added, would be looked into to checkmate cases of assets striping.
Senator Akpabio said going by the records of contracts awarded and projects executed over the years, intelligence reports indicated that the NDDC has failed the people of Niger/Delta as there are no legacy projects executed by the commission.
The Minister made the remarks while addressing the Interim Management Team of the Commission led Dr (Mrs.) Ekwagaga Enyia at the Minister’s Conference Room in the Ministry of Niger/Delta Affairs, Abuja.
The Minister of State for Niger/Delta Affairs, Festus Keyamo, (SAN), who gave a preamble for the meeting, said the NDDC has failed in terms of commensurability of the projects and the funds acruable to the commission over the years.
Keyamo said “Let us be clear on this, it is not going to be business as usual.
“It is going to be business unusual as the present leadership would not tolerate persistent underdevelopment of the region.
“We have become a laughing stock as people now say we (Niger/Deltans) are the ones responsible for the underdevelopment of the Niger/Delta.
“The NDDC is seen as a conduit of empowering the pockets of politicians and hangers on. We will not do things the way we used to do it.
Source; The Nation Newspaper