- The sum of N1.5 billion was reportedly used as COVID-19 relief funds for the staff of the Niger NDDC
- Kemebradikumo Pondei, the acting managing director of the commission made the disclosure
- Pondei said part of the money was also spent on youths as palliatives to help cushion the effect of the pandemic
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The sum of N1.5 billion was used as COVID-19 relief funds for the staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Kemebradikumo Pondei, the acting managing director of the commission has said.
The NDDC is alleged to have spent N40 billion in the last three months without due process. Photo credits: Premium Times
Pondei made the disclosure on Thursday, July 9, when he appeared before a Senate committee investigating the alleged N40 billion corruption allegation against the commission, Premium Times reported.
The managing director was accompanied by other delegates from the commission to the seven-man ad-hoc investigating committee.
The lawmakers raised concerns over the spending at the NDDC, noting that the commission spent N40 billion last three months without due process.
However, the managing director of the NDDC when given account of how money was spent said staff of the agency had to be catered for too.
“We used it (N1.5 billion) to take care of ourselves. We are NDDC, we need to take care of ourselves too,” he said.
Pondei stated that part of the money was spent on youths as palliatives to help cushion the effect of the pandemic, while women and people living with disabilities in each senatorial district also received money.
Meanwhile, an anti-corruption activist and chairman of Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, Comrade Prince Kpokpogri, has reacted to the Senate probe of the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC.
Comrade Kpokpogri described the move as a caricature and headless task, adding that the IMC is the best thing that has happened to the NDDC since inception.
He said this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Friday, May 8, while calling on the Niger Delta people to support Senator Akpabio in his quest to clean up the NDDC and position it to better the lives of the Niger Delta people according to the spirit of its creation.
Kpokpogri said what the Senate was doing by inviting the minister for questioning on the N40billion paid to certified contractors was a shot in the dark and legislative busy body.
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