The Honourable Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has declared that the gang-up against the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by some politicians would not work.
Senator Akpabio who is the supervising Minister of the interventionist agency made the declaration while speaking in Abuja Friday shortly after he appeared at the public hearing of the Senate AdHoc Committee investigating alleged financial recklessness at the NDDC and decried the unrelenting attacks on the implementation of the presidential directive by powerful forces within the Niger Delta region and beyond.
Akpabio however said that no amount of blackmail, name calling and cooked up allegations would deter the Ministry on his watch from going ahead with the clean up of the Commission to end the 20 years of waste.
The Senate AdHoc Committee headed by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi had summoned the Honourable Minister, the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC and other stakeholders to the public hearing investigating an alleged fraud to the tune of N40 billion at the Commission.
It would be recalled that Joi Nunieh, the sacked immediate past Acting Managing Director of the NDDC before the reconstitution of the Commission’s Interim Management Committee in February 2020, had after shunning the invitation of the Senate AdHoc Committee on the two days it sat launched media attacks on the person of the Honourable Minister with unsubstantiated allegations which failed woefully to address the basis of the investigation.
With the position of the Senate expected after the AdHoc Committee presents reports of the investigation, the Honourable Minister called on stakeholders in the region to eschew bitterness and join hands with the interim leadership of the NDDC on the mission to reposition her for focused delivery of the goals of infrastructure and human capital development of the Niger Delta.
Akpabio emphasized that the forensic audit of the NDDC was on course in spite of the distractions and remains the best foot forward to reposition the Commission for a fresh start when a full Board takes over her management at the end of this year.
The House of Representatives AdHoc Committee would this week also consider the submissions by critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta on the allegations hovering around the Commission at her own version of public hearings.
BARR. SOGBEYE C. ELI
SA, Technical to Head of Women, Youth, Sports & Culture,
July 12, 2020.