NDDC’s N.9 Billion COVID-19 Fund Lands Oil Governors in Trouble

494 views | Akanimo Sampson | March 18, 2021

Governors of the nine oil-bearing states- Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers- will soon be sweating it out on the floor of the Senate on how they expended Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) N900 million COVID-19 palliatives.

The interventionist agency is claiming that it gave each of the nine oil governors N100 million each as COVID-19 palliatives.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure, said in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city that NDDC officials told them so.

According to Senator Akinyelure, the Red Chamber of the National Assembly may be summoning the governors to testify on how the money was spent.

The sum is part of N6.25 billion allegedly expended by NDDC on COVID-19 palliatives.

Continuing, Akinyelure said the governors may decide to delegate their relevant “commissioners in-charge to respond to allegations made by the management of the NDDC against them”, insisting that the NDDC Sole Administrator must appear before it or risk an arrest warrant to be issued against him over non-appearance.

Adding, he said the petition over the humongous amount spent by the agency on COVID-19 palliatives will not be swept under the carpet: “We have already gone through the process of warrant of arrest and we have reached 95 per cent stage of completion.

“However, for the avoidance of doubt, immediately the warrant of arrest was issued, representatives of the sole administrator came to my office and verbally explained how the money was spent.

“They claimed that N100 million each was given to the nine state governors in the Niger Delta region.

“We now asked them to make a written submission on their claims to reach us before March 15 which was Monday but up till Tuesday, we have not seen anything. This particular probe will not be swept under the carpet’’, the senator said.

 

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