The Nigerian Senate on Thursday took far reaching decisions on the crisis ridden Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), calling for the immediate sack of its Interim Management Committee (IMC).
The Senate, which took the decision after receiving the report of its ad hoc committee led by Senator Olubunmi Adetunji, also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately return the interventionist agency to the Office of the Secretary of the Government to the Federation (SGF) for supervision.
The Senators, who blamed themselves for part of the problem besetting the NDDC over their failure to properly carry out an effective oversight function on the activities of the IMC, also indicted the Federal Government and the IMC for the problems.
The lawmakers hinged their call for the sack of the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led IMC on alleged financial recklessness, ordering it to refund the N4.923billion it paid to staff and contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals.
In presenting the recommendations contained in the report titled “Ad hoc Committee on the investigation of the alleged financial recklessness in the NDDC”, Senator Adetunmbi said: “In conclusion, the Committee noted that it is difficult to find a correlation between Niger Delta community development and cash invested in the zone.
“Continued cash injection in the Niger Delta challenge issue has not worked under the various IMCs.
“It may be useful at this juncture for the Government to intervene by stepping down the EIMC (Executive Interim Management Committee), thereby helping them leave the stage for a properly constituted board with specific mandate to address the pains of the Niger Delta people.
“The Committee said that the IMC should be made to refund extra budgetary expenditure of N4.923billion payment to staff and contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals.
Monies to be refunded by the IMC include cost for overseas travel to the United Kingdom in the sum of N85.7million, Scholarships Grants – N105.5million, Union Members trip to Italy – N164.2million, Lassa Fever Kit – N1.96billon, Public Communication – N1.2billion and COVID-19″
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