Posted by News Express | 1 March 2016 | 2,334 times
The Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, on Monday, said some contractors working with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) disappeared with over N70 billion mobilisation fees.
The office, in a report presented to Senate Committee on Public Accounts, on Monday, said the contractors worked with the NDDC between 2008 and 2012.
Presented by Assistant Director, Public Accounts Division, Mr Emmanuel Akpan, the report indicated that some corrupt contractors handling various developmental projects of the NDDC disappeared with N70 billion after receiving mobilisation fees.
Akpan, who appeared before Senator Andy Uba-led committee, said though the NDDC, in response to a query issued it by the Office of the Auditor-General, said that projects worth N11 billion, the office, following its findings, discovered that the total sum of the affected projects stood at N70.4 billion.
“The real value of contracts upon which monies have been collected by NDDC contractors during the period under review, as of the time of auditing, was N70.4 billion and not N11 billion the NDDC office is claiming now.
“There is the need for NDDC officials to practically prove that contractors involved in close to N60 billion gap they are trying to create have actually gone to site and executed their projects not on paper, but physically on ground,” he said.
He stated that over 1,733 contractors were involved in the scam.
But the NDDC officials, led by the acting Managing Director, Ibim Semenitari, disagreed with the submission by the Office of Auditor-General, saying that records available only indicated that the total amount involved in the scam was N11 billion.
Director of Finance, NDDC, Jimoh Egbejule, said the commission had, on its own, audited the various projects awarded during the period under review, but discovered that the said scam affected N11 billion worth of projects and not N70.4 billion as reported by the Office of the Auditor-General.
The inability of the two agencies to agree on the figures made the committee chairman, Senator Andy Uba, to adjourn the sitting for a month, in order to give room for reconciliation.
“There is the need to stop this public hearing abruptly, so as to allow the three parties time to sit down and harmonise their findings and reports on the subject matter.
“Definitely, this committee is not satisfied with what has happened, but we have to give them time to meet and harmonise whatever they can before coming back to us to present their updated reports, upon which we can now do the proper probings without one agency saying it doesn’t have the reports the other is presenting,” he said.
He lamented that the new Managing Director of the commission did not know anything about it, adding, however, that he was glad she was willing to work and ensure the figures reconciled.
Earlier, Semenitari had promised to go over the records properly within the one month duration given by the Senate. (Nigerian Tribune)
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