Forensic looting: How NDDC spent N81.5bn on foreign trips, condolence, community relations, other sundries during lockdown

July 19, 2020
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The revelations from the investigations of the N81.5 billion corruption allegations in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) by the National Assembly and other agencies portray that the forensic audit of the commission which President Muhammadu Buhari mandated the IMC may have been replaced by forensic looting of NDDC. Preponderant expenditures of the IMC during the period of the coronavirus lockdown in Nigeria were on leisure and non-development projects. Most of the claims are also difficult to substantiate given the coronavirus lockdown.

Highlight of the NDDC N81.5 billion-part expenditures was presented as follows:

Covid-19                                                                        NN31.4 billion

Overseas travels for graduation of NDDC foreign scholarship beneficiaries   N85.6 million

Maintenance                                                                   N220 million

Legal services                                                                 N900 million

Lassa fever                                                                     N1.956 billion

Community relations                                                      N1.3 billion

Impress                                                                          N790.9 million

Condolences                                                                   N122.9 million

Consultancy                                                                   N83 million

DAT                                                                               N486 million

These were p[art of the activities that thew NDDC Interim Management Committee claimed that have taken place during the lockdown. However, they may need to account for the number of deaths that costs N122.9 million condolence visits, number of court cases handled during the period of the expenditure, how many schools were operating overseas at a time governments were enforcing lockdown, among others.

However, details of capital projects expenditures are being awaited, perhaps, as the Minster of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, appears before the House of Representatives Committee investigating the corruption allegations.

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