The Federal Government, on Saturday, announced that it had flagged-off the physical verification phase of the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio inaugurated the exercise in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, according to a statement by NDDC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr Ibitoye Abosede.
According to Akpabio, 16 field auditors were selected to immediately identify and verify the over 12,000 projects across the nine Niger Delta states.
He said: “It is the position of President Muhammadu Buhari that for us to have a properly constituted board for the NDDC we should first address inadequacies in NDDC, since inception.
“To this end, there is nothing our detractors have not done to stop the forensic audit. This has led some people to wonder if the forensic audit has been aborted,” he said.
Akpabio attributed the slow pace of the forensic audit to budgetary delays, saying that President Buhari had intervened to save the situation.
“The President is resolute that he cannot leave the Niger Delta and NDDC the way he met it. As a demonstration of his commitment, President Buhari is funding the forensic audit from the budget of the Presidency.
“So, I wonder why some people will be peddling rumours that the forensic audit had derailed – when in fact the exercise is ongoing,” he said.
The minister faulted claims that the forensic audit was being used as a ploy to continue with the NDDC Interim Administration.
Akpabio reiterated that the security component of the audit exercise was as important as the forensic audit itself – due to safety issues in the region.
“The physical verification is a very serious exercise, such that its findings may lead to the prosecution of contractors, who abandoned their contracts without completing them,” he pointed out.
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