Akpabio indicts National Assembly members in NDDC contract scandal

The minister for Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio on Monday said he has not awarded a single contract since he assumed office. Instead, he indicted members of the National Assembly.

“I have never approved a single contract not even one kilometre for the NDDC,” Akpabio said while responding to questions by the House of Representatives committee probing the financial misappropriation at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“Most of the contracts in NDDC are given out to the members of the National Assembly. If you don’t know, please ask the two chairmen,” Akpabio alleged.

Akpabio, however, said that the contracts were not given to the committee chairman, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

“I don’t think the NDDC has given any contract directly to Honorable Ojo,” Akpabio said.

On the alleged missing N40 billion, he said no money was missing as the money is domiciled in the CBN.

“N40 billion cannot go missing from the account of the NDDC because it is domiciled in the CBN. Before this administration, NDDC had over 300 bank accounts with various commercial banks,” Godswill Akpabio

He stated that before his appointment as a minister, over 300 accounts were run by the NDDC, saying it was impossible for such amount to be missing because the government now uses a Treasury Single Account (TSA).

On allegations made by the former NDDC MD Joi Nunieh that he has compromised the audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, Akpabio denied the claim, saying there is an ongoing forensic audit, and he has not hijacked it.

He explained that the source of funding the commission includes the statutory transfers by the federal government and the 23 per cent accrual from oil companies.

“N71 billion was released out of the N100 billion allocated to the NDDC in 2019”, Mr Akpabio said.

Asked by House spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu, if he has ever acted as the MD of the NDDC, Mr Akpabio said when things are not going as they ought to, he waded in.

Culled from the Guardian

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