Nigeria’s President, Muhamadu Buhari, has ordered an immediate forensic audit of the accounts of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. As he explained in a series of tweets issued via his official Twitter page, yesterday, this move has become imperative for the sake of accountability and probity.
The President further explained that the Nigerian people would like to know how all the billions of naira that were allocated to the NDDC between 2001 and 2019 have been utilized.
The NDDC was established in 2000 by the Federal Government under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. Its major responsibility is to facilitate developmental goals in the Niger Delta region which, for years, was left underdeveloped even though the majority of the country’s national wealth (I.e., oil money) comes from there.
Heads could roll: Without a doubt, a lot of money has been allocated to the region throughout the near two decades it has been in existence. Interestingly, many Nigerians have always felt that the rate of development is not commensurate with the amount of money allocated. Unfortunately, no President has ever felt the need to probe the NDDC until now. It is highly possible that instances of corruption and financial mismanagement will be uncovered at the end of this probe. And President Buhari’s government may not hesitate to prosecute those found to have played a part in committing fraud.
Nigerians agree: In the meantime, Nigerians are here for this development. Many of them commended President Buhari for this gesture, even as Tunji Tunde Ayeni opined that a lot of people could end up being jailed if the probe is properly conducted.
Jide Otitoju also noted that the government should, indeed, periodically subject all government agencies/parastatals to this kind of forensic audit. This way, accountability in public administration/service can be guaranteed.
Meanwhile, even though Gabriel M God believes this is a necessary step to take, he is highly doubtful that it will accomplish anything. This is because there is a high level of corruption in the NDDC which may eventually end up being covered by the powers that be. The government should, perhaps, prove him wrong by ensuring that those who have perpetuated corruption in the Commission get exposed and prosecuted.