Corrupt People Used NDDC As ATM, Says Akpabio
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio says corrupt people treated the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) like an automated teller machine (ATM).
Akpabio said this during an interview on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).
President Muhammadu Buhari recently gave the order for a forensic audit on the operation of the NDDC between 2001 and 2019.
Buhari gave the directive haven’t heard of continuous criticism of the operation of the commission.
Answering questions, Akpabio said the NDDC is linked with abandoned projects, adding that political interference has further reduced the efficiency of the commission.
“We have also had a lot of political interference, people have not allowed NDDC to work as it ought to, people coming with ideas not to move the region forward but to move their pockets forward. It has always been so,” he said.
“We currently have about 12,000 abandoned projects across the nine states of the Niger Delta. If those things were completed, you can imagine that the area would have been turned into an Eldorado.
“There is no way NDDC road can last (for) even two years. I think people were treating the place as an ATM, where you just walk in there to go and pluck money and go away, I don’t think they were looking at it as an interventionist agency.
“Even the idea of giving out a job to somebody who does not have the requisite skills is corruption on its own. The idea of bloating the contract is also corruption. Even collecting money and abandoning the site is also corruption.
“We have also had a lot of political interference, people have not allowed NDDC to work as it ought to, people coming with ideas not to move the region forward but to move their pockets forward. It has always been so.”
The former Akwa Ibom governor said President’s Buhari call for forensic audit was justified.
“I wonder why the leaders in the past didn’t find it necessary to look into the activities of the NDDC, with a view to repositioning it. There is nobody that will be happy to see this kind of situation.”