The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has revealed why Niger Delta governors urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order a forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Wike explained that NDDC has lost the capacity to deliver development to people of the Niger Delta, having degenerated into a “cash cow for politicians,” hence the call for a forensic audit.
He made the disclosure on Wednesday at the state Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital while playing host to NDDC interim management committee led by the Acting Managing Director, Gbene Joi Nunieh.
The Governor also accused the immediate past board of the NDDC of spending N10 billion during the 2019 election to stop him from being re-elected but failed.
He said: “Those who fought for the establishment of NDDC will weep that the commission has deviated from its mandate. NDDC has collapsed. NDDC has become a cash cow for politicians.
“NDDC is now a political institution. NDDC stole our money. There was an agreement for Rivers State government and NDDC to collaborate for the construction of the Mother and Child Hospital.
“NDDC refused to pay her counterpart fund; even when N800 million was paid by the Rivers State government, NDDC only paid N400 million to the contractor and diverted N400 million. If they don’t pay our money, we will institute a legal action against NDDC to retrieve our money.
“After the former board released N10 billion to remove me from office and they failed, they came here for a courtesy visit. I asked them why they refused to partner with states for the development of the Niger Delta region.
“Niger Delta governors asked for the forensic audit of the NDDC when we met with the President. We also asked for the setting up of a Board of Governors for NDDC.
“I urge the interim committee to carry out a proper audit. You will meet obstacles, but be determined to do a thorough job.”
Earlier, the Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Gbene Joi Nunieh said that the Commission is determined to partner with Niger Delta Governors for the development of the region.
She urged the Rivers State Governor to forget the past failures of NDDC and partner with the commission.
The Acting Managing Director sought the assistance of the Governor in the areas of health and education, adding that some cottage hospitals completed by the NDDC, have been illegally occupied.