Fact emerged how the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) spent N2.8bn to buy vehicles in the 2019 budget which was approved by the National Assembly.
According to the document in possession of our correspondent, N749m was spent to buy Toyota Prado Jeep, Pool salon cars (Corolla), N35 million, N1.6bn to buy hilux vehicles, N200 million was used to buy buses and N217 was used to buy minibus in the 2019 budget of the commission.
Also, N805 million was spent on legal expenses , N56 million to by newspapers and Periodicals, N626m was spent on stationeries, N923 million was paid as rent for unspecified number of Warehouses .
In addition, N923 million was used to rent office and N503 million was spent on board provisions and N329 million was spent on Telephone, Utilities , postage.
Our correspondent observed that the Commission failed to specify number of vehicles the commission will purchase for N2.8bn
The report showed that N152m was spent to maintain the office of Managing Director office of NDDC in 2019, while N143 million was spent to maintain the office of Executive Director of Projects, ,.N53 million was spent for the maintenance of Chairman office of the Commission.
The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Kemebradikumo Pondei, had admitted that the commission spent N1.5 billion for staff as ‘COVID-19 relief funds’.
He made this statement at the investigative hearing on the N40 billion corruption allegation against the commission.
The Senate had on May 5 set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to investigate the “financial recklessness” of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the commission.
The lawmakers said, within the last three months, the commission has spent over N40 billion of the commission’s fund ”without recourse to established processes of funds disbursement which has opened up further suspicion among stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region.”
They also the IMC’s ”arbitrary use of executive power in an alleged wrongful sacking of management staff without recourse to established civil service rules and practice with the aim of allegedly concealing the fraudulent financial recklessness they have committed.”
Mr Pondei and other delegates from the commission appeared before the committee on Thursday for the hearing.
Part of the audit report read out by the chairman of the committee, Olubunmi Adetunmbi, said N3.1 billion was spent as COVID-19 funds between October 2019 and May 2020.