Audit report recommends recovery of N183b diverted at NDDC

tax-identification-numberAUDITOR-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Samuel Ukura, yesterday asked that the sum of N183 billion belonging to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) allegedly diverted between 2008 and 2012 be immediately recovered.

Ukura who made this demand while submitting three special audit reports on Niger Delta to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, said the funds were meant for the development of Niger Delta but were diverted for other purposes.

He disclosed that the alleged diversion was discovered during periodic audits of activities and programmes of the commission.

According to him, of the sum, N70.4 billion was paid as mobilisation fund to various contractors who never reported at the sites adding that another N90.4 was spent as extra-budgetary expenditure heads and sub-heads without approval by authorised institutions.

Ukura further said that N10 billion was discovered as tax deductions without any evidence of its remittance to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) adding that NDDC also spent N5.8 billion as payment to contractors for projects that were either not executed, stalled or abandoned. He added that a sum of N1.2 billion was discovered as taxes not deducted from contractors as the case should be.

Further disclosures made by Ukura were the alleged transfer of N3.1 billion to unauthorised accounts; N1.7 billion as outstanding staff advances not accounted for and diverted N785 million out of N1.1 billion meant for the supply of furniture to various schools in Delta State.

In addition, Ukura said whereas funds meant for the supply of furniture were certified to have been paid, an inspection carried out by his office revealed that no single cabinet was distributed during the period under review.

He also submitted that there would be progress and development in the Niger Delta if all activities and programmes of NDDC were well implemented as he disclosed that two special audit reports on environmental activities in Lake Chad region showed that the water was drying up. He advised relevant government agencies to address it before the situation gets worse.

He said: “The key message of the National Audit Report of Nigeria is that Lake Chad is drying up very fast from 250, 000 square kilometers in 1960 to just 1, 500 square kilometers at the moment. We must save Lake Chad from extinction.”

Ukura also said that the submission of special audit reports differs from the annual report of the AGF at the end of every financial year which he said had been submitted up to 2013 while that of 2014 is still in progress.

The AGF noted that insurgency in the North-east and militancy in Niger Delta could only be nipped in the bud if necessary attention is paid to environmental challenges in Lake Chad and the South South geo-political

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