The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Monday, has alleged that 60 per cent contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) are awarded to National Assembly members.
Akpabio made the comment as he was being grilled by members of the House of Representatives committee on NDDC in a public hearing.
The Minister had been invited by the lawmakers on Friday to defend his actions as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and shed more light on financial misappropriation within the NDDC.
Akpabio’s comment surfaced as he was responding to a question about NDDC expenditure amid a forensic audit.
“We cannot close down the Niger Delta Development Commission because of the fact that we are doing (a) forensic audit,” he said.
“The NDDC plays a vital role in ensuring the peace and security of the region and 90 percent 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.”
A member of the committee took him up on his “you people” allegation and asked him to clarify.
“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,” the ex-Senator said.
Speaking earlier, Akpabio also claimed that the former Acting Managing Director of the NDDC Joy Nunieh was not qualified. He stated that Joy Nunieh does not have a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.
He also revealed that the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, asked him to sack the former NDDC boss.
The minister said the NDDC had over 300 bank accounts when he was appointed by President Buhari.