President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, waded into alleged corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), with a directive to the security agencies to join the National Assembly in ensuring well-coordinated investigations.
Buhari stated this in his reaction to the exchange of bitter words between the outgone Acting Managing Director of NDDC’s Interim Management Committee, Dr. Joi Nunieh and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio over allegations of unauthorised expenses in the commission.
The President said the coordination investigation among security and investigating agencies with the National Assembly will ensure that the administration’s effort to bring sanity, transparency, and accountability to the management of the large number of resources dedicated to the development of the Niger Delta sub-region is not derailed.
In a statement signed by a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Buhari expressed his strong determination to get to the root of the problem undermining the development of the Niger Delta and its peoples in spite of enormous national resources voted year after year for this singular purpose.
The commission has been bedevilled with several revelations of corruption which led to the institution of a forensic audit into the activities of the commission.
The latest revelations, however, show that the development agency has continued to be embroiled in corruption including alleged spending of N81billion on sundry items.
According to the directive, auditing firms and investigative agencies working in collaboration with National Assembly Committees to resolve the challenges in the NDDC must initiate actions in a time-bound manner and duly inform the Presidency of the actions being taken.
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.
Buhari said the administration wants to bring about “rapid, even and sustainable development to the region.”
He 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.