The Presidency on Friday, July 24, denied reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has ratified the Senate’s request to dissolve the interim management board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) led by Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei.
There are reports going round that President Buhari gave his assent to the Senate’s request.
But special adviser to Buhari on Media, Femi Adesina, described the reports as ‘fake news’; via a series of tweets on his Twitter page.
Adesina said, “Please disregard a statement purportedly from me; on the dissolution of the Interim Management Committee of NDDC. Merchants of fake news in action.”
Senate had on Thursday, July 23, urged President Buhari to sack the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC over alleged financial recklessness.
This is sequel to the resolutions of the Senate; which also adopted the recommendations of its ad hoc Committee on the investigation of the alleged financial recklessness in the NDDC.
Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, presented the report.
He said, “In conclusion, the committee noted that it is difficult to find a correlation; between Niger Delta community development and cash invested in the zone.
“Continued cash injection in the Niger Delta challenge issue has not worked under the various IMCs.”
“It may be useful at this juncture for the government to intervene; by stepping down the EIMC (Executive Interim Management Committee); thereby helping them leave the stage; for a properly constituted board with a specific mandate to address the pains of the Niger Delta people.”
The committee said that the IMC should be made to refund extra-budgetary expenditure of N4.923bn payment to staff; and also contractors in breach of the procurement process and approvals.
Monies to be refunded by the IMC include cost for overseas travel to the United Kingdom in the sum of N85.7m; scholarship grants – N105.5m; union members trip to Italy – N164.2m; Lassa Fever kit – N1.96bn, also public communication – N1.2bn; as well as COVID-19 relief -N1.49bn.