As part his anti-graft war, President Muhammadu Buhari may soon order a total audit of the finances of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from its inception.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, told a delegation led by Staff Director, House Sub-Committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organisations, Gregory Simpkins, that President Buhari might order the audit the finances of the commission.
She stated this while responding to a question by the delegation if there is any effort to recover misappropriated funds belonging to the NDDC.
Semenitari explained that she had submitted report of her findings on assumption of office to the President and she suspects strongly that there will be an audit of the commission, which she described as one of the scrutinised agencies of the Federal Government.
She explained that the commission remains a major policy driver in the region, with a responsibility of not only to build infrastructure but basically to entrench development in the region.
The NDDC, according to her, is supposed to be a catalyst in that regard, providing guidelines to government at all levels, federal, state and local.
“We are also supposed to provide guidelines to those who operate in the region in terms of defining the needs of the people, also providing strategies that assist other stakeholders in the region to carry out their work. When the commission was set up, it had a lot of consultations and came out with the Niger Delta development master plan, which is supposed to be the policy document that informs interventions in the region, whether by governments or other stakeholders, the international oil companies that operate here, or development agencies who do their work here,” she said.
The NDDC boss stated that the Niger Delta master plan has a clear categorisation of the needs in the region, the problems as they exist and the things that need to be done to achieve development. She further revealed that the master plan is due for review.
Semenitari explained that the commission is working assiduously to ensure speedily completion of the multi-billion naira Ogbia-Nembe road in Bayelsa State and would soon begin talks with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) on the abandoned Bodo-Bonny road projects in Rivers State.
Simpkins described Nigeria as important to the United States as a partner in security and trade. Adding that it is vital that there is stability in the country, particularly its economic hub, the Niger Delta.