As shocking Revelations of the sleaze in Niger-Delta Development Commission ( NDDC) continue to make leading newspaper headlines with various actors involved in the affairs of the commission throwing accusations and counter-accusations on one another , Former Member , House of Representatives , Hon. Shehu Bawa ABG has called for an independent commission of Inquiry to unravel the mysteries of malfeasance in the Federal intervention Agency created solely for the development of oil producing states.
He said involving an independent body in investigating the commission and all those mentioned as beneficiaries in the mismanaged funds had become necessary to ensure transparency considering weighty allegations made against members of the National Assembly investigating the commission.
ABG who represented Kaduna North Federal Constituency from 2011 to 2015 at the House of Representatives expressed shock at the mind boggling sums alleged to have been misappropriated between October last year and may this year , describing it as heartlessness taken too far , under an Administration which has fighting corruption as its Cardinal principle.
” How on earth can you spend over 80 Billion Naira of tax payers’ resources in less than one year with no tangible projects on ground to justify the spending of such huge amounts.
” Within a spate of less than one year the commission has had four interim managements , with each trying to outdo the other in looting the treasury of the commission before they were changed and replaced with another.
” Thanks to the once blossomed relationship that has gone sour between erlsewhile interim managing director of the commission , Miss Joi Nunieh and Minister of Niger-Delta , Godswill Akpabio that has led to opening of Pandora’s box , Nigerians wouldn’t have known the level of corruption taking place in virtually every Government agency and Department.
” It is sad that a statutory agency saddled with responsibilities of developing oil producing states would turn out to be the nemesis of the people of that area due to lack of commitment to accountability and transparency by the present administration to ensure that public officers are held responsible for any refraction they are found guilty of.
” The allegation of 500 projects padded in the 2019 appropriation of the NDDC must be looked into and culprits involved prosecuted to serve as deterrence to others if this present administration’s fight against corruption must be taken seriously by Nigerians.
” The revelation that NDDC spent over 85 million naira on overseas travels to UK when there was a global lockdown was ridiculous and has made mockery of the current regime which prides herself as champion of fighting corruption.
” The embarrassing exchanges between former MD of NNPC and former Minister of state for petroleum , Ibe Kachukwu where the latter accused the former of abusing due process and expending the corporation’s funds running into trillions of naira were enough to make heads roll but silence was the answer until the people involved completed their stewardships , nobody was brought to book.
“The dust raised by the revelation in JAMB where billions of naira could not be accounted for as Nigerians are made to understand that snake swallowed the said amount, was yet to settle that the Maina’s episode reared its ugly head when the fugitive boss of NHIS who had been accused earlier of siphoning pensioners’ funds running into billions of naira was pardoned in absentia and reappointed by this administration which claims to be fighting corruption.
” From Magu’s to Malami’s saga and now the NDDC. Nigerians are watching with keen interest how this administration will handle the litmus test and ensure conclusive prosecution of her officials who have been fingered in corruption and abuse of office. ” He charged.
He said the misappropriated sum would have made some impacts on alleviating the sufferings of people of the Niger-Delta , improve their infrastructure , health and education. The former Federal Legislator decried the deplorable condition of the East-West Road which according to him had caused loss of lives and untold hardship on travellers plying the road and attributed it to corruption , adding that fixing the Road was one of the campaign promises of the APC led administration which had not been fulfilled.