Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has revealed its commitment to transparency, accountability, and willingness to cooperate with the Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate alleged unauthorised financial activities of NDDC for 2021 and 2022 budget estimates.
Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), made this known on Wednesday, in a statement obtained by EnergyDay, on the sideline of the decision of the Senate to step down the consideration of the report of the 2023 budget estimates of the commission due to alleged unauthorised spending by NDDC on its 2021, 2022 and 2023 budget estimates.
EnergyDay gathered that the Senate had on Tuesday alleged the management of the Commission of breach of the constitution by engaging in expenditure on the budget estimates without the approval of the National Assembly.
Some of the Senators at the plenary on Tuesday raised concern over the consideration of the Commission’s budgets, seeking careful consideration and review of the 2023 budget estimates of NDDC.
NDDC Managing Director in his statement on Wednesday urged the public to avoid jumping to conclusions based on the Senate’s decision and assured the NDDC’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
He further noted that the NDDC respects the oversight function of the Senate and is ready to cooperate with the investigation committee.
Ogbuku said that the Senate had not accused the Board and Management of the NDDC of corruption or misappropriation of N1.4trn.
He emphasised that the Senate only thinks the N1.4 trillion was expended without approval or appropriation by the National Assembly. He said this misunderstanding could be quickly resolved by providing the requisite documents and explanations.
He said, “The Senate has not accused the Board and Management of the NDDC of corruption or misappropriation of N1.4trn. The Senate only opines that the funds were expended without approval or appropriation by the National Assembly.
“This is a misunderstanding that can be easily resolved by providing the necessary documents and explanations,” he said.
According to him, the delays in submitting the budgets and audited accounts of the NDDC to the National Assembly were due to factors beyond its control, such as bureaucratic bottlenecks and frequent leadership changes.
Ogbuku further noted that the NDDC had taken measures to address these issues and ensure timely compliance with all statutory requirements.
He said, “The NDDC also wishes to explain that the delays in submitting its budgets and audited accounts to the National Assembly were due to factors beyond its control, such as bureaucratic bottlenecks, and frequent leadership changes.
“The NDDC has taken measures to address these issues and ensure timely compliance with all statutory requirements,” he said.
He assured all stakeholders of the NDDC’s dedication to the development of the Niger Delta region and the welfare of its people, adding that the NDDC had delivered thousands of projects across the nine states of the region since its establishment in 2000.
He urged the Senate and the general public to support the NDDC in its mandate of facilitating the rapid, even, and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative, and politically peaceful.
EnergyDay gathered that the N1.4 trillion was allegedly misappropriated when ex-Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio was in frequent friction with former NDDC acting Managing Director, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondeiand with several reports of Illegal approval and expenses executed on the orders from the Minister.