By Mustapha Sumaila
Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, says the ongoing forensic audit on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is not targeted at individuals.
Enang said this when he appeared on a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum.
He explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered that a forensic audit be carried out at the NDDC to ensure value for money in projects executed.
According to him, the audit will unveil what has transpired in the region in projects executed in the last few years, with a view to making certain amendments for the benefits of people of the Niger Delta.
“The forensic audit is not going after individuals. It is going after money.
“If there had been budgets, for instance, for local refineries, programmes on agriculture, if certain amount was spent on roads and the roads were done, and the government keeps spending on the same projects, it is now time to find out through the forensic audit.
“The audit will also find out whether what was done in 2013 was repeated to have been done in 2014, whether there was a process where things were done in previous years, whether there is justification for money paid in those years and to whom it was paid,’’ he explained.
Enang, however, commended the current NDDC presidential interim management for ensuring projects were inspected before giving approval for payment.
He said the present administration was working to ensure that henceforth, projects awarded by NDDC were of high quality that would serve people of the region, unlike what had happened in the past.
The presidential aide explained that 2019 and 2020 budgets were pending in the National Assembly, adding that it was the reason many projects were yet to start in the region.
According to him, until the budgets are approved by the National Assembly and assented to by the president, the NDDC will not be able to implement programmes meant for people of the Niger Delta.