Barring any last-minute changes, President Mohammadu Buhari will next month receive the much-awaited report of the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).x
Minister of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, gave the hint on Tuesday night while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after he met with the chief of staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Akpabio expressed satisfaction with the progress the forensic audit has made so far. He insisted that the exercise was aimed at cleaning up the mess in the NDDC and repositioning the commission for optimal performance as against the practice in the past where it was “just an agency for the purposes of election only.”
“The field forensic audit is on course and is progressing very well,” Akpabio said. “I am happy with the progress so far and I am very certain that come to the end of July, is just a month and a few weeks away, the final result will be given to Mr President for final implementation.”
The former governor of Akwa Ibom State said the process towards the composition of the NDDC board was also being fast-tracked to come up with a final list to be transmitted to the National Assembly for further action.x
He said:z”In terms of the composition of the board of the NDDC, of course, we have fast-tracked the process, the National Assembly will soon get the list. But that is not as important as the forensic audit which we have already given a deadline. Our belief is that the new board will use those recommendations to turn around the agency.”
The Minister further dismissed insinuations that he is under pressure by militants in the region to reconstitute the board, describing the development as “politics.”
“No. Everything is politics whether it’s development or composition. Nobody has put me under pressure to reconstitute the board. I can sponsor any group of people to make a statement but the major thing is peace of the region,” Akpabio told reporters.
“The region is very critical to the economy of the country. So, when I made the move I made to go and talk to stakeholders, it was for the purpose of the economy of the nation. Also, we cannot afford for the South-south region particularly the Niger Delta to go into a crisis like what we are witnessing in the Southeast and all that.”