The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) have been asked to investigate the activities of officials in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in relation to the operations of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In a petition by Hosanna Oluyemi Jalogho-Williams, the anti-corruption agencies were asked to investigate the act of mismanagement, financial recklessness and indebtedness.
The petitioner alleged that NDDC has huge debts, stating “funds are being siphoned using three forms of phoney contracts, namely: clearing of water hyacinths; emergency jobs, and river de-silting.”
According to the petitioner, phoney contracts related to the three activities are used “to steal the monies that have been voted to improve the livelihood of the Niger Delta people.”
He said contracts relating to the clearing of water hyacinths, emergency jobs, and river de-silting did not follow the “regulations and approved threshold stipulated by the Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP),” while also alleging that “these contracts are prioritised for payments because the funds are circling back to the corrupt executives, while payments of genuine contractors with jobs that have followed due process have been completed and verified are ignored and left to suffer.”
The petition said the handover of the NDDC to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for supervision has worsened the situation following what has happened since then.
Specifying some questionable payments, the petition stated that: “Sixty billion naira (N60b) has been expended as payments for clearing of water hyacinths. These payments are in serious violation of the Public Procurement Act of 2007.”
He said more payments have also been made for water hyacinth, including N1.9 billion and another N700 million.
On emergency jobs and river de-silting, the petitioner alleged that the sum of N30 billion was paid for these.
He further alleged that officers at the Niger Delta Ministry were interfering with the running of NDDC, including the area of staff postings.
Credit: The Sun