By Technocrat Media
ABUJA – In recent years, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been accused of corrupt practices on many occasions ranging from contract inflation to projects abandonments, overpaying contractors, the award of contracts without due process, and self-COVID-19 payment for the management and staff of the Commission among others. In this editorial, we carefully looked into the Audit Report of the Auditor-General of The Federation on NDDC covering from January 1, 2013, to June 30, 2018, published in May 2020, and submitted to the National Assembly on June 25 2020 through the Clerk.
From the report, 47 issues which are flashpoints of corruption were contained in the document that we intend to bring a searchlight on through this publication for the purpose of public awareness and for the federal government to take necessary actions against those allegedly involved in the issues raised. We will provide full details on each of the 47 issues on weekly basis for the next few months.
List of Key Findings
A sum of ₦459,350,000.00 was paid to NDDC part-time board members for medical check-up expenses.
₦1,358,300,000.00 was paid in excess to cover imprest to the executive board members (EBM).
Engagement and payment of external solicitors to the tune of ₦1,582,986,030.00 without the consent of the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of The Federation.
Irregularities in the award of contract for logistic and consultancy services totaling a sum of ₦199,474,160.50.
Award of emergency contracts without stating the contract prices that gulped a sum of ₦3,001,517,063.27.
Doubtful commissioning of consultants for the studies and design of projects after the award and execution of the relevant projects with a sum of ₦485,128,179.79.
Payments of ₦1,225,000,000.00 as rent to a legal advocate on a property that belong to the River State Government but released to the Federal Government to house the NDDC Headquarters.
Payment of the sum of ₦698,128,550.00 to retired generals for regional security surveillance of NDDC projects without evidence of service delivery. This is allouded to the fact that a high percentage of the projects has been abandoned by the Commission.
Inappropriate payments of ₦725,460,000.00 for tenement rate without valid computations in line with the relevant tax laws.
Appointments of special and personal assistants for members of governing board and payment of their salaries and allowances at government expense that gulped a sum of ₦1,005,743,015.14.
₦1,741,074,999.93 was paid for a partnership on an entrepreneurial development scheme without specific benefits or procedure for the recoupment of NDDC investment in the partnership.
Promotion of staff to the director level without taking into consideration the available vacancies.
Appointment of directorate cadre personnel as political staff to serve as aides to board members in the NDDC.
Non-submission of the comprehensive nominal roll to the periodic checks team.
A sum of ₦190,956,627.75 was paid as compensation through Chris Oghene Omoru & Co without evidence of job execution.
A sum of N86,531,503.00 was confirmed as irregular payment of compensation.
Incomplete update of contract file. No wonder, the Commission is having huge track records of project abandonments across its mandate zones.
Irregularities in the supply of 3,852 Doses of Hepatitis B Vaccines and 1570 Doses of Typhoid Vaccines (28) and supply of Lassa Fever Kits in (23 Lots) to NDDC Warehouse in Port Harcourt and Distribution, Transportation and Storage (5 lots) costing a sum of N2,527,000,000.00.
Supply of atomic slicing kits fibre link insulator fibre cross-arms to the Niger Delta region without approval from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at a cost of N950,871,520.00.
Some former political office holders and some staff of NDDC retired with government property in their possession without authorization.
The contract on Dredging/Desilting of Imo River, Onuimo and Ihitte Uboma (lot 2) Ihitte Uboma, Imo State gulped a sum of N949,220,780.00.
The contract for the Dredging/Desilting of Obano-Okposha Oguta Lake Waterway (Lot 2) Imo State gulped a sum of ₦994,415,000.00.
A sum of N688,922,686.33 was paid for a job not done and no remittance of taxes deducted on instruction to urgently remedy failed & unmotorable section of Isieke-Ajatah Road Umuaiha North LGA, Abia State.
Instruction to urgently remedy failed & unmotorable sections of Etim Okpoyo Stree, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo Akwa Ibom State issuance of IPC without back up valuation. It gulped a sum of N117,130,854.75.
A sum of N247,991,974.52 was paid for the non-executed-construction of solar-powered street lights at Ibe Street, Elekahia, Port Harcourt.
Incomplete execution of a contract for the provision of solar-powered street light complete with 600mm X 600 mm reinforced concrete plinth in Uquo Community and environ Lot 1, Esit Eket lga, Akwa Ibom State – N245,000,000.00.
Abandonment of the contract for construction of Niger Delta Region specialist hospital (cardiovascular) in Rivers State with a sum of N1,042,776,000.07.
Contract for the construction of Anua/Ifa Ikot Okpon/Isiet Beach Road, Uyo L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State taken over by the state government – ₦899,890,840.00.
Government property was taken away by a former board member representing Imo State in NDDC without official authorization.
Unauthorized revision and variation of contract sum without due process and payment above completion level on the contract for construction of Kaa -Ataba road and bridges at a cost of ₦10,930,414,996.45.
Non-compliance with the standard scale of fees in payment for outstanding consultancy fees claimed for three projects: Omadino-Escravos, Ogheye-Koko road/bridge, and Otuoke – dualization in the payment of a sum ₦641,204,095.38.
Use of green ink by internal audit department which is against financial regulation law.
Irregularities in the execution of a contract awarded to Messrs Setraco Nigeria Ltd for the construction of Gbaregolor-Gbekbor – Ogulagha road phase 1 at a sum of N16,157,782,480.20.
Abandonment of the execution of a contract awarded to Messrs Japaul Mines & Product Ltd for the construction of Udo-Ofunama road involving a sum of ₦6,062,172,454.15.
Award of contract to Messrs Simoka Marine Ltd for the construction of Nigerian Army jetty at Uvwaie at a cost of ₦4,731,900,048.33.
Abandonment of the contract awarded to Ribon Resources Nigeria Ltd for the construction of NDDC Delta State office building project in Warri, phase 1 involving a sum of ₦421,921,233.40.
Abandonment of project site after the collection of mobilization fees on a contract awarded to Timipah Ifidi and Sons Ltd for the construction of NDDC Bayelsa State office building project in Yenagoa at a sum of ₦421,921,233.40.
Irregularities in the award and payment of the sum of ₦126,350,000 for the contract on monitoring and evaluation, administration, and provision for cold chain storage services for hepatitis and typhoid vaccines. No indication of project locations.
Incomplete execution of the contract despite full payment of the sum of ₦320,254,100.00 on the provision of solar street lights complete with 600×600 mm reinforced concrete plinth at Ewet housing & shelter Afrique Estate at Uyo Iga, and Ididep Itam town at Ibiono lga in Akwa Ibom state.
Non-distribution of plastic desks and chairs procured for primary and secondary schools in Rivers State at the cost of ₦232,209,600.00.
Overpayment of the sum of ₦157,154,400.00 to the contractor on the emergency repair/maintenance of Ikot Akan to Ibekwe Akpan Nya road (Ikot Abasi/Abak Road), phase II in Akwa Ibom state due to non-compliance with the project scope.
Irregularities in the ₦16,222,492,843.76 contract for completion of Niger Delta Development Commission Headquarters building in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Excessive spending on the award of emergency contracts while the planned projects are left unattended to or even abandoned leading to wastage of public funds in NDDC.
Non-utilization of the project management department for effective safeguard against the poor quality of execution in NDDC projects.
Appointment of staff on a contract basis contrary to the provision of the public service rule in the federal republic of Nigeria.
Allowing staff of lower grade level to head department at the expense of the substantive directors.
Wastage of public fund due to collection of mobilization fees without report to project sites by contractors which had gulped a sum of ₦61,468,160,743.03 in the NDDC.
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