NDDC Probe: FEC Approves Forensic Auditing Of Almost 12,000 NDDC Projects

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Daily Metro News NG

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, in their 13th virtual meeting on Wednesday, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari approved the forensic auditing of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Findings has shown that almost 12,000 projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will go undergo the forensic audit, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio said.

Akpabio said a memorandum issued by his ministry for the appointment of eight foreign firms to carry out forensic audit of the about 12,000 projects was approved by the council.

Akpabio added that a foreign auditing firm, Ernst and Young, which was earlier appointed in March this year as the lead auditor is still among the eight firms.

The international firm will be in charge of programmes and activities at the headquarters of NDDC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, while seven other auditing firms will be in charge of field works involved in the audit.

The contract earlier entered into in March with the lead auditors, Enst and Young was N318 million. But the contract value has now increased to N722.3 million maybe due to increase in the number of auditing firms.

The minister did not mention the names of the new seven auditing firms that would be paid the N722.3 million for the 14 days field work.

Akpabio explained that the approval by FEC, “evaluation of the abandoned projects of NDDC in the last 19 years was estimated to almost 12,000’’ has commenced.

“At the end, we will know the amount of monies that have gone into the region in the last 19 years and whether the value we have received so far are commensurate with the monies that have entered into NDDC”, he added.

Akpabio also explained that the funds that are being used for the contracts, which ordinarily should have been drawn from the NDDC budget, came from the Presidency. He gave reasons for this development to the delay in passing and assenting the NDDC’s 2020 budget by the National Assembly.

Akpabio’s words; “The first amount that was approved for the lead forensic auditors was about N318 million and then for this batch of eight field auditors, N722.3 million. We expect to complete the field audit in the next one or two weeks.

”Mr. President had last year approved an estimated amount of N2.5 billion. So, everything that we are spending now will come from that estimated sum. Initially, it should have come from the budget of the NDDC, but because of the delay and the inability to pass the 2020 budget, the entirety of the amount that will be spent will come from the budget of the Presidency.

“The job is not just forensic audit alone; you know forensic audit is different from statutory. This one (forensic audit)  is done with a view to address the issues of misappropriation, bribery, corruption, fraud or anything of that sort that could have militated against the success of the agency in the last 19 years.”

Also addressing the State House correspondents, Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu said the council approved the some of N101 million augmentation for the revised estimated cost of consultancy services for the Ogbese Dam Project in Ekiti State.

”This project is one of the 116 projects that we inherited. It was started in 2009. And it is one of the projects we prioritised for completion since we conducted an audit of all the ongoing projects in 2016. We have been working on it steadily,” he said.

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