The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has accused members of the National Assembly of being the biggest beneficiaries of the controversial contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Akpabio made this accusation on Monday, July 20, 2020, when he appeared at the public hearing of the investigative panel at the house of representatives, which was set up to probe the corruption allegations against him and the management of the NDDC.
The minister insisted the NDDC should not be closed down because the commission plays a vital role in ensuring peace and security of the Niger Delta.
While responding to questions on the expenditure of the NDDC during this period of a forensic audit, Akpabio pointed out that members of the national assembly were the greatest beneficiaries.
“The NDDC plays a vital role in ensuring the peace and security of the region and 90% or more of the resources of the country come from there.
“If you close it down in totality all you will have is chaos. You will have a lot of, not just militancy, you will have a lot of insurrection.
“So it is important that people who have gone to court, people who genuinely did jobs should be paid for their jobs. For me, I am not against it because, of course, who are even the greatest beneficiaries? It is you people.”
When a female lawmaker interrupted his presentation and asked what benefits the lawmakers get from the contracts, the minister said:
“I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly, but you don’t know about it, the two chairmen can explain to you. I was a member of the NDDC committee so I know about it.”
Akpabio also said that he was not aware that the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC spent N85 billion in recent months for unapproved projects.
He went further to disclose that the former Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Joy Nunieh, was sacked because she did not participate in the mandatory one year service of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The minister said he got to know about this through a letter from late Abba Kyari, former chief of staff to the President. He said.
“The former managing director of the NDDC was relieved of her appointment when I received a letter from the then Chief of Staff (may his soul rest in peace) that she did not possess the requisite qualifications to be there.
“For instance, we have written twice to the National Youth Service Corps and twice they have insisted that she never served and that she does not have an NYSC certificate or an exception.”
KanyiDaily had earlier reported how the acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Daniel Pondei, slumped during interrogation by the House of Representatives Committee over alleged missing of N40 billion naira.
Mr Pondei slumped when he was answering questions posed by the investigative panel over alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to billions of Naira.