President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his government had so far recovered over N3.7bn as well as various assets worth billions of naira from contractors and former directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Buhari said this, according to a Daily Trust report, while inaugurating the NDDC Advisory Committee, comprising the nine Governors of the Niger Delta region and the Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs and Environment at the Council Chamber, State House, Abuja.
“Furthermore, I am told that Government agencies have placed liens on over N6 billion of assets, which are being investigated,” he added.
He said the recovery was being pursued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other agencies of government.
Buhari, who told the committee that the abuses of the past showed the need for strict and diligent oversight, going forward, charged them to discharge the new assignment diligently and effectively, working closely with the relevant ministries.
He said he looked forward to seeing positive changes in the affairs of the Commission as well as on the ground in the Niger Delta region.
He said that his administration had in 2016 launched the “New Vision for the Niger Delta” to bring sustainable peace, security, infrastructure and human capital development to the region with the hope that the goal would be achieved through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
He regretted that in the past, these institutions were unable to deliver on their mandates due to mismanagement. As a result, he said the people of the Niger Delta were left with abandoned infrastructural projects and substandard social programmes, which were designed to improve their living conditions.
Buhari said he approved, in February 2020, the constitution of a 10-man presidential monitoring committee as provided for in Section 21 of the NDDC Establishment Act to reverse the trend.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who spoke on behalf of the members of the Advisory Committee, thanked Buhari for inaugurating the committee and granting the request of the governors, from the region, for a forensic audit of the NDDC.