NCDC Denies Circulating Contract Letter, Disburses over N800million #COVID19 Palliatives To Niger Delta Youths and Women
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has denied an allegation of fraudulent contract purportedly signed by a director in the commission.
The commission while reacting to the alleged financial mismanagement by some media outfits, described the documents circulating on social media as fake. At a recent press conference, Charles Obi Odili, director, corporate affairs at the NDDC, said key officials of the commission are not aware of the document.
His words: “The document is simply fake or at best unauthorised. The letters for all contracts awarded by the commission are signed by the executive director, projects on the authority of the acting managing director who is the chief accounting officer of the commission.
“Neither of the officials is aware of the contract letter. It is inconceivable that a contract and of such magnitude could be awarded otherwise. The commission has launched an internal investigation into how such a letter came to be issued and on what authority.”
Some online outfits have been circulating a letter purportedly issued by the director of procurement awarding a contract of N5.55 billion for the procurement of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and other kits to fight the spread of COVID 19 in the Niger Delta region.
Odili said: “For the purpose of transparency, we wish to confirm that the commission has just secured presidential approval to intervene by assisting NCDC in the supply of kits and the building of isolation centres in the nine Niger Delta states.
“Also, the commission has disbursed N775m to assist the 9 Niger Delta states to fight the plague. We have also disbursed N270 million as palliatives to the youths, women and the physically challenged in the 27 senatorial districts of the region.”
He also dismissed claims that the NDDC has paid out huge sums for contracts to supply kits and drugs for the prevention of Lassa Fever.
“We wish to state that this present management has not awarded any Lassa fever contract.
“From the records, the commission awarded three contracts for intervention against the Lassa Fever scourge and all these took place in 2019, at least one year before the present management came into office,” he stated.
The NDDC also lamented over what it described as the upsurge in attacks on the commission, the Interim Management Committee and the minister of the Niger Delta Affairs since the launch of a forensic audit into the affairs of the commission.
“These attacks are meant to distract the commission from the task of holding those who looted the commonwealth to account. The honourable minister and the Interim Management Committee are determined to see through this audit,” Odili noted.