N40bn not missing, but misappropriated: NDDC Ag MD explains

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By EricJames Ochigbo

Abuja, July 16, 2020 (NAN) Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, the acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says that N40 billion was not missing from the commission’s account neither has it been misappropriated.

Pondei, while addressing journalists in Abuja said that the commission operates only one account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to him, there is no way such an amount will be missing without the Office of the Accountant General flagging it.

“If you attended the hearing in the Senate, the CBN and the Accountant General’s office, gave account of how much that had been spent by the two interim management committees of the NDDC which was N81 billion.

“Out of the N81 billion, N59.1 billion was recorded to have been spent by this particular management committee here.

“In the same report from both agencies, the commission spent N38.6 billion on projects and over N35 billion of this amount, we have published in the media and none of the contractors have come out to say that they did not receive that money.

“The balance of N20.5 billion covered a wide range of things from grossly related to staff matters mostly salaries, historical debts we inherited because the IMC cleared backlog of files left untreated that were left to continue, we have paid back hotel bills that have been there for long, Staff Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) for almost four years,” he said.

Pondei said that some staff had gone out for different assignments and for almost four years, they were yet to be paid saying that the management was clearing those.

According to him, we are still owing Transcorp Hilton Hotel N30 million and by the grace of God, we will take care of all of those.

“Apart from that we have done different interventions; nobody can find N40 billion missing, we operate accounts only in the CBN and the accounts there were published and it is from there that the investigation in the Senate were based on, account provided by the CBN, item by item.

“So there is no way N40 billion can be missing and the office of the Account General will not flag it, the Auditor General Office also audit accounts, so let them wait and do the proper auditing and if we are found liable, then they will know what to do.

“That is why the National Assembly has the Public Account Committee which looks into all types of expenditure and revenue and does it mostly as a postmortem,” he said.

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