There are indications that those who ran the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between 2017 and 2019, maybe called to explain the award of 1,921 emergency contracts valued at N1.3 trillion within seven months in 2019.
Mr Nsima Ekere served as NDDC managing director after taking over from the former acting managing director, Mrs Ibim Semenitari in November 2016. Ekere handed over to Professor Nelson Brambaifa, who handed over to Dr Akwagaga Enyia, who ran the affairs of the agency on the acting capacity for few weeks before handing over the present interim management committee headed by Dr Joi Nunieh in 2019.
Addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt, the acting executive director, Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, said the contract verification committee recently set up by Nunieh, is intended to establish the true position of the emergency regime between 2016 and 2019 in the Commission.
Ojougboh said, “Among other things this verification exercise is intended to establish the true position of the emergency regime between 2016 and 2019 in the Commission.
“It is now common knowledge that some of the awards were not only spurious, but criminal as records available to us show that most of the awards were not backed by budget, has no bills of engineering measurement nor drawings and were just open cheque for contractors and their collaborators to fill in at the nearest banks.
“For instance in 2017, the Commission awarded a total of 201 emergency contacts valued at N100,396,879,001.06; in 2018, a total 1,057 emergency contracts valued at N162,688,289,333.05; and just seven months of 2019, a total 1,921 emergency contracts valued at N1,070,249,631,757.70. So we are talking of a total of over N1.3trillion in less than three years.
“The yearly budget of the NDDC is hardly above N400billion and a situation where contracts that do not qualify for emergencies were fraudulently awarded to over one trillion naira valued in less than one year amounts to not only stealing from the pulpit and stealing the entire pulpit. If President Buhari did not order this forensic audit, the NDDC would have been grounded to a stop, killed and buried.
“Mind-boggling you might say, the verification exercise will expose those spurious contracts. Contractors with fake or spurious awards are advised in their best interest to stay away from the various centres.” Leadership