President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday moved to end the recriminations over alleged corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and vowed to get to the root of the matter.
The president ordered an effective and coordinated probe by security and investigating agencies along with the National Assembly on allegations and counter allegations of corruption rocking the NDDC.
The House of Representatives Committee on NDDC also yesterday resolved to issue a warrant for the arrest of the acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the commission, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, after he and his team walked out on the lawmakers.
In a related development, the South-south Governors’ Forum yesterday backed forensic audit of the commission and also decried the ongoing crisis in the agency.
The president said in Abuja that the coordinated probe had become imperative in view of the federal government’s efforts to bring sanity, transparency and accountability to the management of huge resources being allocated to develop the Niger Delta.
The Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and former acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Ms. Joy Nunieh, have traded accusations over the sleaze in the commission in the last week.
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said in a statement in a reaction to the unfolding drama said Buhari was aware of the attacks and counter-attacks between and around persons, institutions, and the NDDC.
Buhari expressed his determination to get to the root of the problem undermining the development of the Niger Delta and its peoples despite the enormous national resources allocated to the agency yearly.
The president directed auditing firms and investigative agencies working in collaboration with the National Assembly committees to resolve the challenges in NDDC.
He ordered them to undertake time-bound actions on the investigation and consequently report to the presidency steps being taken to unravel the mystery behind the mystique.
The statement added: “The president also directed timely sharing of information and knowledge in a way to speedily assist the administration to diagnose what had gone wrong in the past and what needs to be done to make corrections in order to return the NDDC to its original mandate of making life better for people in Niger Delta.
“President Buhari said the administration wants to bring about rapid, even and sustainable development to the region.
“The president gave a firm assurance that his administration would put in place a transparent and accountable governance framework, not only in the NDDC but in all other institutions of government.”