The Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), a pro-democracy, human and environmental rights civil society group, has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari to cause to happen, through his good office, a publication of the Forensic Audit Report on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), recently released by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and presented to the Attorney General of the federation by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Niger Delta Affairs minister.
In a Press Release signed by the Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, stated that FENRAD as a rights group, is concerned that the said report which covered a period of 18 years from 2001 to 2019, revealed how 13,777 awarded contracts were abandoned; that as an intervention agency the Commission got during the period under review, the sum of ₦6 trillion (both budgetary and statutory funds) and yet could not deliver the goods in the oil-bearing areas that the Commission operated, within the same period in 362 different bank accounts.
FENRAD, however, commended the Honourable Minister for submitting the report work which begun in August 2019.
It demanded that His Excellency, in line with transparency and integrity which his administration is centred on, should publish details of the said contracts abandoned; to whom they were awarded (tenderers/contractors); who awarded these contracts; list of the abandoned sites/projects; the bidding process – prequalification and selection and as well procurement, as they all may have to do with the said report.
FENRAD further wishes to know from His Excellency’s office, the names of the 362 bank accounts and transactions made thereto and in what numbers.
“We support the resolve shown by the Attorney General towards ensuring that no contract defaulter will go unpunished. Therefore, we urge His Excellency to follow through and back resolve with action.
“Our attention was recently brought to counterclaim from NDDC sources, claiming that the Presidential Forensic Audit Report lacks credibility and also the recent calls by regional local chiefs that the report be made a matter of public record.
“Since its establishment in the early 2000s after Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC was dissolved, NNDC has been fraught with corruption allegations the latest being the ₦1.5 billion “palliative” fund said to have been mismanaged following which Prof. Daniel Pondei’s case happened before us all.
“We call on Mr. President to, as a matter of transparency and probity, leave no stone unturned in meting out justice to any person found guilty in the NNDC contract and other scams. We believe Mr. President will spare no sacred cows and that, in line with our demand, the said audit report is made open for public scrutiny. We hope our requests meet His Excellency well.”