By: Israel Umoh
The N81 billion alleged to have been spent by the Interim Management Committee of Niger Delta Development Commission in six months is yet to simmer down in the court of public opinion since the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission ballooned the story into public space.
This was as the House of Representatives resolution to probe into an allegation of mismanagement of more than N40 billion by the NDDC’s IMC had earlier received knocks and condemnations from the public.
Contrary to the controversy surrounding the bandied figures, Straightnews can authoritatively report that the commission spent N72,788,047,305.88 billion from October 29, 2019, to May 5, 2020, on recurrent and capital heads.
A document obtained from NDDC shows that the commission Dr. Joi Nunieh who served from October 29, 2019, to February 19, 2020, as acting Managing Director of the commission spent N21,580,074,643.18.
A breakdown shows that under Nunieh-led administration, N12,469,032,351.18 was spent on Recurrent Expenditure (salary, staffers’ claims, leave grants, and running costs of an office, among others) while N9,111,042,292.40 was expended on Capital Expenditure.
Recurrent Expenditure consists mainly of expenditure on wages, salaries and supplements, purchases of goods and services, and consumption of fixed capital (depreciation). Capital Expenditure is money an organization or corporate entity spends to buy, maintain, or improve its fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, equipment, or land or payment to contractors.
However, Professor Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, another IMC’s Managing Director spent N51,207,972,662.3 from February 20, this year to May 5, 2020.
During the period, Pondei spent N15,854,039,751.8 on Recurrent while N35,353,932,910.5 was spent on Capital.
A source from the commission confided in Straightnews that the commission released what it spent to the House of Representatives and that was what it defended, not figures that came from the public space which NDDC’s management could not have defended.
On the allegation that NDDC spent N81 billion, the source refuted it and rolled out the exact figures, saying “We are operating an established not voodoo body. Therefore, it behooves us to tell the public how much we got and how we spent the money.
“We cannot rely on figures thrown on us by anybody or the press, which we do not have records and cannot defend. In fact, we have to account for every kobo spent there.”
On the impression given by Nunieh that she never expended much during her short tenure of office, the source responded “The figures speak for themselves. She cannot deny the figures because nobody has imposed any figure on her. We have financial records and how much she spent. Authentic figures like pictures do not lie.”
“It is unfortunate the way some people think. Perhaps, many still think that some people in the commission pulled out the entire money and misused it. It is not so. The recurrent and capital sub-heads show exactly how the money was spent, not misused as alleged,” a management staffer in the commission who did not want his name in the print explained.
Similarly, figures on Recurrent and Capital subheads spent by three Managing Directors of the commission have been leaked to Straightnews.
Mr. Nsima Ekere, a Managing Director whose reign spanned from January 1, 2016, to January 25, 2019, is said to have spent N106,732,148,542.95 on Recurrent while N392,928,943,580.13 was spent on Capital.
Also, Professor Nelson Brambaifa, whose tenure commenced from January 26, 2019, to August 27, 2019, as an NDDC’s Managing Director, spent N28,321,678,547.16 on Recurrent and N203,075,515,844.87 on Capital.
Dr. Akwagaga E. Anyia had a brief spell as NDDC’s Managing Director. His appointment started on August 28, 2019 and ended on October 29, 2019. During his reign, Anyia spent N8,280,528,335.80 on Recurrent and N32,468,646,293.10 on Capital.