* Says The Senator Has Been Paid For 120 Jobs Not Executed
By Godwin Anene
The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has accused a serving Senator of sponsoring violence of vested interest targeted at scuttling the proposed forensic audit of the commission.
Interim Executive Director of Projects of the NDDC, Cairo Ojougboh who raised the allegation said the Senator he declined naming the senator that holds over 300 contracts of the commission.
He said, “Somebody particularly interested in a major contract of the NDDC, a member of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He alone has 300 jobs in the NDDC. Of the 300 contracts,120 have been fully paid and he has not mobilised to site for these 120.
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“The remaining is what he is now using to mobilize thugs in the Niger Delta, to instigate people to prevent the audit. Anybody who wants this forensic audit to be stopped is not a proper human being and not doing so in the interest of the people of Nigeria.
“This individual is now busy sponsoring thugs everywhere in Bayelsa and Rivers to come and destroy, using the money of the people. You did not indicate your interest to the Senate, and then you are the one screening the committee that the President has set up.
“Ideally, you should indicate to the Senate that you are an interested party, and then you recuse yourself from that process. Therefore, it is obvious that the reason he is behaving the way he is behaving is that he wants the system, the looting in the NDDC to continue, and this is what the IMC will not support.
“What people want is this forensic audit and they are asking how it could be conducted properly to get the best result? The system said it must look for people who do not have pecuniary interests in NDDC. I Dr Cairo, have never entered the NDDC building before. I don’t have one contract there.”
On the anger against the IMC, Ojougboh said, “The woman who was Acting MD then had been in NDDC since days of OMPADEC and it was thought that the bureaucracy is part of the problem in the NDDC. Therefore, they will not allow them oversee and supervise the forensic audit.
“The other body that will have supervised it is the incoming management but again, it was thought that allowing this board to supervise the forensic audit will also get them encumbered because they will now also also be interested in the matters that they are involved in.
“So, the system came up with the idea that an independent body must be put together to oversee the forensic audit for a period of three to six months. At the end of the forensic audit, the body that has just been screened will now take over from the Interim Management Committee.
‘Everybody accepted except for some rogue leaders. And this is why I have reason to commend the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President, these are very good men.”
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On the commission’s financial exposure, he said, “NDDC Interim Payment Certificates IPC pending are worth over N3trillion that NDDC is owing phantom contractors. It is these phantom contractors that are preaching and making noise to stop the probe. All they want is the stealing to continue.
“All they want is to bring puppets to manage the forensic audit because they know the IMC will not compromise. Look at the records at the NDDC, you will cry. Some genuine people that have done jobs for the board have not been paid for over 15 years and their families are suffering. Many of those paid are these phantom contractors”.
Ojougboh, a medical doctor, added that about ten reputable firms would be engaged to conduct the forensic audit, saying the IMC has no intention of dabbling into areas outside its mandate which is different from that of the incoming board.
“The assignments to the incoming board and the IMC are completely different. Ours is to supervise and aid the forensic team to do their job. The forensic team is divided into 10 departments. Ten audit firms. Out of the nine states of the NDDC, one audit firm will handle a state, then one will handle the headquarters to make sure we do not waste time because this audit must be done swiftly and competently.”