The Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately launch an investigation, arrest, and prosecution of all persons, contractors, and companies implicated in the waste, mismanagement, and looting revealed by the Niger Delta Development Commission’s forensic reports and audit (NDDC).
It also encouraged the government to arrest and punish any members of the Commission’s management and personnel who were involved in contract scams and racketeering as soon as possible.
Mr. Isaac Botti, the social action group’s Project Officer (Budget Tracking), told journalists in Asaba that the group had tracked 29 abandoned projects in 14 of Delta State’s 25 local councils as part of its advocacy on fiscal transparency and accountability in the commission.
The N2.7 billion development of Oviri Court Junction by Effurun-Sapele Road to Oba Junction by Effurun-Eku Road at Oviri Court-Oha is one of the projects identified by Botti.
Okpe, with a budgetary provision of 3.9 percent; the N250 million installation of solar-powered streetlights in Gbokoda Community, Warri North Local Council; and the N1 billion construction of the School of Medical Sciences at Western Delta University, Oghara, with a budgetary provision of 3.9 percent.
Other projects included the N200 million furniture, laboratory equipment, and computers at Delta State University’s Oleh Campus in Isoko (the actual amount approved was N20 million), the N250 million construction of access roads from Ekgroup-Itsekiri Community Town Hall to Angle Park in Warri South Local Council, and the N250 million construction of Old Eku Road with a spur to Catholic Church, Oviori Eku in Ethiope East Local Council.
He mentioned the N500 million reclamation of the Orugbo Waterfront from Gray to Orugbo Town, with the actual amount approved being N53.9 million, as well as 20 other projects that have been abandoned and are distributed around the state.
He bemoaned the fact that the commission had duplicated schools, hospitals, and road projects on purpose.
According to him, there was a significant difference between the planned amount for projects and the final amount approved for their execution. The projects with the highest approved sum received 40% of the total budget, while the average approved amount was 15%.
He expressed regret that benefiting communities were kept in the dark about NDDC’s operations and urged Mr President to enact the findings of the forensic inquiry so that those accused face the consequences.