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Appointment of a Lead Forensic Audit Consultant for the Forensic Audit Exercise of the Niger Delta Development Commission

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 presented and obtained the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in respect of the memorandum on the appointment of Messers. Olumuyiwa Bashir & Co as the Lead Forensic Audit Consultant for the forensic audit exercise of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at a fee of N318,903,750.90 with a completion period of nine (9) months.

The conception of the forensic audit exercise on NDDC followed agitation by concerned stakeholders on the inability of NDDC to deliver on its mandates, largely due to financial impropriety, fraudulent contract dealings and abandoned projects reported at the meeting of the Governors of the nine (9) Oil Producing States with Mr. President on October 17, 2019.

The conduct of the forensic audit exercise will among others achieve the following:

  1. Identify projects executed by the Commission from inception to date and report on their implementation status;
  2. Ascertain the total fund and actual expenditure of the Commission;
  3. Establish the actual and the contingent liabilities of the Commission;
  4. Identify contracts awarded and for which payments were made but the related values not received for appropriate executive action; and
  5. Establish a database of genuine claims on the Commission to enable appropriate planning for settlement; and review the management system in place to achieve a fit-for-purpose Agency that would, going forward deliver on its mandate.

As the Lead Consultant, Messers. Olumuyiwa Bashir & Co is expected to:

  1. Make recommendations for the appointment of nine (9) Forensic Auditors that will carry out forensic exercise for each of the nine (9) States of the Region;
  2. Develop Terms of Reference for the Forensic Auditors;
  3. Co-ordinate the activities of the Forensic Auditors;
  4. Establish and schedule periodic meetings with the Steering and Technical Committees for the Forensic Audit;
  5. Arrange regular meetings with the Forensic Auditors;
  6. Monthly briefing of Progress Report to the Honourable Minister;
  7. Collation and review of Reports of the Forensic Auditors;
  8. Submission of interim and final reports;
  9. Supervise the provision of physical and material resources in all locations for the success of the exercise; and
  10. And any other assignment relevant to the Forensic Audit exercise as may be determined by the Honourable Minister.

Ministerial Performance Report: Implementation of the Ministerial Mandate

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 presented the Ministerial Performance Report on the Implementation of the Ministerial Mandate to the Federal Executive Council.

Reporting on the Mandate, the Honourable Minister highlighted the five (5) deliverables identified for the Ministry on his assumption of office in August, 2019 as follows:

  1. Harmonize and coordinate the implementation of the Niger Delta Action Plan – MNDA, the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan – NDDC and other relevant plans and programmes, to encourage rapid socio-economic development of the region;
  2. Supervision and control of the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the Honourable Minister;
  3. Monitoring of all ongoing infrastructural projects under the Ministry’s supervision to ensure their timely delivery;
  4. Develop and manage high impact programmes for empowerment and mass employment of youth and women in the region; and
  5. Develop a security framework for participatory incident reporting and strengthening of rural and urban security in the region.

The Ministry’s Deliverables would contribute to 5 of the 9 Priorities of the Federal Government as follows:

  1. Ensuring Energy Sufficiency in Power and Petroleum Products;
  2. Improving Transportation and other Infrastructures;
  3. Driving Industrialization;
  4. Enhancing Social Inclusion and Reduce Poverty; and
  5. Improving Security for all in the Niger Delta Region.

Highlight of major achievements (including contributions to number of jobs created, 100 million people lifted out of poverty) are:

  1. Empowered 312 Youths and Women leading to a total of 1,676 empowered in 2019.
  2. Facilitated the payment of N11billion through Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) under Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) out of N16billion owed contractors on the dualization of the East – West Road. This was done to ensure an early completion of the project.
  3. Payment for other major infrastructural projects which enabled contractors to return to site.
  4. Closer monitoring of ongoing infrastructural projects.
  5. Ongoing forensic audit of NDDC which commenced with the verification of contracts and projects to ascertain the actual and contingent liabilities of NDDC.
  6. Sustenance of peace and security resulting in socio-economic prosperity and stability in the Region.
  7. Resolution of concerns over implementation of the dualization of the East-West Road Section Five.

Akpabio Inaugurates Enlarged NDDC Interim Management Committee

Charges Members on Cooperation for Forensic Audit, Service Delivery

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has charged the enlarged Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to cooperate with forensic auditors to audit the operations of the Commission as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President had on Wednesday approved the enlargement of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC from three to five.

The five members of the Committee are:

  1. Prof Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, Acting Managing Director replacing Barrister Joi Nunieh;
  2. Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang, Acting Executive Director (Finance and Administration);
  3. Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Acting Executive Director (Projects);
  4. Mrs. Caroline Nagbo (Member) and
  5. Cecilia Bukola Akintomide (Member.)

Inaugurating the new Acting Managing Director and Members, Senator Akpabio said President Buhari enlarged the Interim Management Committee to inject new blood into the Commission for better service delivery.

According to Senator Akpabio, change was inevitable in a Commission like the NDDC. He said the NDDC was passing through a phase that would soon be over and thanked President Buhari for giving the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs the responsibility of supervising the NDDC.

“The story of NDDC in the last 19 years has not been so rosy. The NDDC, we believe could have achieved more. You have a stunted child who could have been a six-footer. We need to find out the reason why the child could not grow. Is it that the child was not given enough nourishment”?

“And then the country is looking at the fact that a lot of money has gone into the NDDC but we could not see commensurate result. I am not saying this to deride any particular person. I am not saying this to bring down anybody. I am not saying this to make a political point. I say this from the point of truism”.

“I am a Niger Deltan and I believe in the Niger Delta. God has put us in the Niger Delta to make a difference. I had the opportunity of being a Governor in the Niger Delta and I left my mark behind. Nobody can deny that there was uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom State”.

“I will like to see the NDDC build specialist hospitals. I will like to see the NDDC provide light to communities in darkness. I will like to see the NDDC support industrialization and food sufficiency in the Niger Delta. These things are possible, it is a question of commitment”.

“I want to thank President Buhari for the interest he has shown in the Niger Delta region. That is why he ordered the forensic audit of the Commission. As soon as the forensic auditor was appointed, there was need to inject new blood into the Interim Management Committee. The NDDC must change and we will all work together to achieve that,” Senator Akpabio said.

Speaking further, Senator Akpabio advised the Interim Management Committee members to work as a team to achieve the goal set for them by President Buhari. He said as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, he was not interested in running the NDDC but he would be interested in how the NDDC is run.

The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura emphasized on the need for a synergy between the Ministry and the Commission. He said since President Buhari had in his wisdom asked the Ministry to supervise the Commission, the NDDC had no option than to work and deliver on their mandate with absolute cooperation between the Ministry and the NDDC.

In his response, the new Acting Managing Director, Prof Pondei thanked President Buhari for the confidence reposed in them to manage the affairs of the NDDC and see through the forensic auditing of the Commission.

Adding that a huge task has been bestowed on him to make a difference in the region. He solicited the cooperation of the Ministry and stakeholders in the Niger Delta to enable him and his team achieve President Buhari's vision in the Niger Delta. He promised they will establish total transformation in the region.

Senator Akpabio had earlier administered the oath of allegiance and oath of office to the new Acting Managing Director and Members.

Deworitshe, Patricia,
Head (Press & PR)
20 February, 2020

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