Senate President blows hot as probe of N80bn fraud begins

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, says allegations of misappropriation of funds levelled against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were unacceptable.

He said this on Thursday while declaring open an investigative public hearing on the alleged financial recklessness.

Lawal said mismanagement of public funds to the tune of N80 billion prompted the upper chamber to probe the commission.

He underscored the need for the prudent application of public funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs).

Lawan stated that the era when public resources are expended anyhow is long gone.

“We are in trying times when we all have to be concerned about the judicious use of scarce incomes. The NDDC is supposed to improve the lot of the Niger Delta community. It is unacceptable to hear about inappropriate use of resources or outright financial recklessness”.

He urged the stakeholders to cooperate with the ad-hoc committee and assured Nigerians of the Senate’s commitment to fairness and transparency.

Lawan recalled that the Senate set up the committee during its sitting on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

“This public hearing should further help the committee get more information, to enable them come to a pleasant conclusion on the facts on the ground, before reporting back to the Senate”, he added.

Committee Chairman, Olubunmi Adetumbi (APC – Ekiti North), said the panel seeks to “investigate all financially related allegations, mismanagement and misappropriation and the breach of the extant procurement processes as enshrined in the public procurement Act 2007.”

Adetumbi added that the exercise was not a witch-hunt on any individual, group or institution, but rather to get to the root of the matter, reposition the NDDC to deliver on its mandate and promote effective utilization of resources.

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