As Nigerians continue to react to the alleged misappropriation of funds in the NDDC, following a senate committee report which exposed the alleged misappropriation of N1.4 trillion by past managements of the commission, especially the illegal interim administrations, the commission has urged the public not to jump into conclusions on such matters.
The commission said in a statement on Thursday that the senate committee report never accused the commission’s past managers of stealing the sum, but that the monies were spent without proper legislative approvals by the National Assembly.
The statement which was endorsed by the commission’s head of corporate affairs, Dr Ibitoye Abosede also said the commission under Dr Samuel Ogbuku had nothing to hide and was willing to cooperate with the senate to get things done properly and achieve set goals.
The statement said: “The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, appreciates the concerns expressed by the Senate during its plenary on Tuesday, May 10, 2023.
“The Senate had at its session constituted an ad hoc committee to probe the financial activities of the NDDC for 2021 and 2022 budget estimates. The Senate also stood down consideration of the 2023 budget of the NDDC for further information and clarification on the figures contained in the budget.
“The NDDC respects the oversight function of the Senate and is ready to cooperate with the investigation committee. The Commission has nothing to hide and is committed to transparency and accountability in its operations.
“It is important that we clarify that the Senate has not accused the Board and Management of the NDDC of corruption or misappropriation of N1.4trn. The Senate only thinks that the funds were expended without approval or appropriation by the National Assembly. This misunderstanding can be quickly resolved by providing the necessary documents and explanations.
“The NDDC also wishes to explain that the delays in submitting its budgets and audited accounts to the National Assembly were due to factors beyond its control, such as bureaucratic bottlenecks and frequent leadership changes. The Commission has, however, taken steps to address these issues to ensure timely compliance with all statutory requirements.
“We appeal to the general public to refrain from making hasty judgments based on the Senate’s decision. The NDDC assures all stakeholders of its dedication to the development of the Niger Delta region and the welfare of its people.”