Tuesday, April 21, 2020 8:03 pm
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has expressed the desire for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to assist the firms contracted for the forensic audit of the Commission by the federal government.
The acting managing director of the Commission, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei made the offer on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, during a courtesy visit to the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the EFCC.
Prof. Pondei who said he was at the Commission to “establish good working relationship with the EFCC”, expressed the need for the auditors to interface with the EFCC.
He also requested for the Commission’s assistance in looking at cases of contract awarded and paid for but not executed. “We have reports of projects awarded and paid for but not executed. There is need for us to work on these cases”, he said.
The NDDC boss noted that petitions, both genuine and frivolous, from communities on abandoned projects, have become a source of distraction to the management committee. He, therefore, requested for a status report on all NDDC cases being investigated by the EFCC.
In his remarks, the EFCC Zonal Head, Usman Imam described the visit by the NDDC team as remarkable, noting that it will go a long way in helping to bridge whatever gaps exist between the agencies.
While congratulating the interim management committee on its appointment, Imam pointed out that its assignment appears daunting in the face of extreme negative public perception of the agency.
He noted that when he assumed office as Zonal Head in Port Harcourt, he believed that NDDC was next to oil bunkering when it comes to corruption.
“I believe government is mindful of this negative image which is the reason for the appointment of the interim management committee and the institution of a forensic audit”, Imam said; while urging the management to strive to change the perception by delivering on the mandate given to it by Mr. President.
“I want to assure you that the Commission is willing to support you through the investigation of any alleged case of fraud. What we require from you is willingness to share information and trust in our ability to handle such cases with dispatch”, he stated.