Nigeria’s Minister for Information and Culture Lai Mohammed Tuesday said the corruption allegations against Niger Delta Development Commission is not new.
“I wish to state that the allegations of corruption in NDDC, for example, are not new,” Mohhamed said during a press briefing.
“What is new is the speed and seriousness with which this Administration has tackled, and is still tackling the allegations,” he added.
NDDC is being investigated by the national assembly for misappropriation of funds worth N1.3 trillion within four years.
Chairman of NDDC Committee in the Senate, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, in a report alleged that NDDC spent N1.3 trillion between 2015 and May 31, 2019.
The investigation report also revealed that the NDDC paid 4.9 billion naira to staff for numerous allowances including COVID-19 relief, tour duty allowances, overseas travel, and international scholarships.
The House of Representatives is also quizzing the commision. The lawmakers invited the Interim Chairman of the Commission and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
Mohammed said if serious “attention had been paid to the running of NDDC by previous Administrations, the commission would probably have avoided its present predicament.”
“Is it not a sad irony, then, that those under whose watch the alleged freewheeling spending by the Commission started are now the ones accusing those who are cleaning up after them of corruption,”
The information minister said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration “has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of 800 billion Naira, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties. This is no mean feat.” Guardian Newspaper