The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, denied allegations of corruption made against it by the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Itse Sagay.
Sagay had during a speech at a 2-day National Dialogue on Corruption, organized by PACAC at the State House in Abuja, said that the NDDC had bought over seventy cars including 8 Lexus Jeeps worth N70 million each and 10 Toyota Landcruiser jeeps at N65 million each.
But Head of the Corporate Affairs department of the commission, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, speaking in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Thursday, said that no such purchase has been made since the new leadership of the NDDC governing board assumed office on November 4, 2016.
Amu-Nnadi said: “It is a known fact that the Chairman, the distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nsima Ekere, and the two Executive Directors (of NDDC) are still using their private vehicles, three months after assumption of duties.
“The NDDC is only now in the process of acquiring work vehicles and it is adhering strictly to due process. The vehicles include five Toyota Prado jeeps, ten Toyota Hilux trucks, four Toyota Land cruiser jeeps, one Toyota Coaster bus and two Toyota Hiace buses.
“The commission (NDDC) has just received the Due Process Compliance Certificate from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and it is preparing the mandatory memo for the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“We wish to restate that the current board and management of the NDDC are committed to making their transactions transparent, by adhering strictly to processes and procedures of government, as espoused in the board’s 4-R Initiative of restoring the commission’s core mandate, restructuring the balance sheet, reforming our processes and reaffirming a commitment to doing what is right and proper at all times in facilitating the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.”
Amu-Nnadi also stated that the NDDC is collaborating with the Bureau for Public Service Reforms, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI and the Open Government Partnership “to improve the commission’s governance systems, procurement and project implementation processes, in order to plug all loopholes and systematically eliminate all incidents of mismanagement and corruption.”
He maintained that the commission is always ready to open its books for audit, and remains committed to responding to all inquiries from well-meaning individuals and groups seeking clarification on rumours and possible false information.
The NDDC spokesman called for support from all stakeholders to enable the commission succeed in its tasks.
He assured that the new leadership of the NDDC is “evolving as a responsible public institution”, adding that members of the public should feel free to contact them for authentic information on its activities in order to avoid sensationalism.