The Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami has said more than 13,000 projects executed in Nigeria’s niger delta area were substantially compromised despite the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) receiving $14.580 billion allocation from 2001 to 2019.
Mr Malami said this on Thursday when he spoke on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari at the presentation of a report on the forensic audit of the NDDC.
“The federal government is particularly concerned with the colossal loss occasioned by uncompleted and unverified development projects in the Niger Delta region, in spite of the huge resources made available to uplift the living standard of the citizens,” he said.
“It is evident that considerable resources have been channelled by the Federal Government to the development of the Niger Delta from 2001 to 2019,” Mr Malami said.
Within 19 years, from 2001 and 2019, Malami said the federal government approved over N3.3 trillion to the agency as budgetary allocation and N2.4trillion as “income from statutory and non-statutory sources”.
This, according to him, “brings the total figure to the sum of approximately six trillion Naira given to the Niger Delta Development Commission”.
The minister said despite this, “We have on record over 13,777 projects, the execution of which is substantially compromised”.
To add to the poorly executed or non-execution of contracts, Mr Malami pointed out the issue of the agency running 362 bank accounts resulting in a lack of proper reconciliation of accounts.
“The federal government will, in consequence, apply the law to remedy the deficiencies outlined in the audit report as appropriate.
“This will include, but not limited to, initiation of criminal investigations, prosecution, recovery of funds not properly utilised for the public purposes for which they were meant for, review of the laws to reposition and restructure the NDDC for the efficiency of better service delivery, amongst others.
“In all these instances of actions, legal due processes will strictly be complied with.”
By Abel Ejikeme