It was like a drama in Nigeria Monday afternoon when the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Professor Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, fainted while being questioned by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission.
He appeared before the House together with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio who was also accused of corruption
The committee is investigating an alleged N82.5 billion ($211,340,199) irregular expenditure in the NDDC.
Former NDDC Managing Director, Joy Nunieh, appeared before the committee via Zoom on Friday where she levelled many allegations of arbitrary breach of laid down rules in awards of contracts.
Akpabio and Pondei were issued with summons at the last sitting of the Olubunmi Tuji-Ojo led committee on Friday.
The committee had, last Wednesday, interrogated officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Auditor-General of the Federation. The committee’s chairman said the documents submitted by both the CBN and the Auditor-General of the Federation showed that the total amount spent by the NDDC from January to May 2020 was N81.5 billion.
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is a Nigeria’s government agency established 20 years ago with the sole mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. One of the core mandates of the Commission is to train and educate the youths of the oil rich Niger Delta regions to curb hostilities and militancy, while developing key infrastructure to promote diversification and productivity. Since it’s establishment, there has been accusations of corruption and looting of funds meant to develop the area.
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Corruption remains an endemic issue in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, harming its public finances, deterring business investment, exasperating inequality, reducing the standard of living, and weakening the social contract between the government and its people
During her 2018 visit to Nigeria, former British Prime Minister, Theresa May said that;
“Much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy, yet 87 million Nigerians live below $1 and 90 cents a day, making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world.”
Earlier this month, the head of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency Ibrahim Magu, was arrested on allegations of looting of public fund and re-looting of recovered loots. Read through this link