The Senate yesterday says it has begun investigation into the alleged inflation of a N2.5bn water hyacinth contract which was alleged to have been inflated to N65bn by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The Senate had written twice to the acting Managing Director of NDDC, Dr Enyia Akwagaga, to come with relevant documents relating to all the awarded contracts particularly the water hyacinth job.
However, the acting MD of the commission was said to have failed to appear before the Senate’s Public Accounts Committee because she was indisposed.
The Director for Special Duties, Nosakhare Agbongiaaede, who represented the acting MD before the panel on Thursday, assured the lawmakers that all the needed documents would be provided at the next sitting on Monday.
The Chairman of the Senate panel, Mathew Uroghide, said, “We are hearing that the commission has already spent N65bn so we want to know if it is true. It is an allegation. It is still an assumption until they come to clear the air surrounding this.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission from 2001 to 2019.
A statement by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, said Buhari gave the directive after receiving governors of the states that make up the NDDC, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
The President said what was presently on the ground in the South-South did not justify the huge resources that had been made available to the organisation.
He said, “The projects said to have been done must be verifiable. You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done. The consultants must also prove that they are competent.”