The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dan Abia, Wednesday, denied allegations that N183.7 billion was missing from the coffers of the commission.
The Auditor General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, had last week affirmed that N183.7 billion was missing from the NDDC accounts.
Abia, who spoke with journalists after leading top officials of the commission to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the NDDC, said the claim by Ukura was could not be true.
He explained that he was not the managing director of the commission during the period under review by the auditor general. Abia was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan in October 2013.
The auditor general had alleged that N183 billion meant for the development of the Niger Delta was diverted by the management of the commission.
Ukura had also repeated that his office stood by the report and directed those not satisfied to be prepared to defend their position before a special committee of the National Assembly.
However, emerging from the president’s office, Abia insisted that he was not culpable and was ready to defend the allegation with the records available at the commission.
“Let me assure you that even by the admission of the auditor general, no N180 billion is missing. Because advance payment guarantee (APG) as you know is governed by advanced payment directives. Office of the auditor general is a government agency, whatever clarification we shall engage the office and proper record will be strengthened. I said that even before the president that no N180 billion is missing. Let me also tell you that I cannot be a party to contract splitting. NDDC is a very unique institution, we have a budgeting process. Those people that are now crying, where were they when NDDC was not having project up till the end of the year.
“It is only proper that we should come and brief the president. I requested to meet Mr President in my capacity as the managing director of the NDDC so I was not summoned as reported in the media.
“We briefed the president on our mandate. As far as the audited account of the NDDC is concerned, how many of us know that the audited account under note under reference refers to 2008 to 2012. I was not the managing director then. Let’s get that fact clear”, he said.
With a huge debt of about N1.5 trillion hanging over the commission, there have been allegations of multi-billion financial scams even as the AGF indicted the commission for its inability to account for N183.7 billion which passed through it between 2008 and 2012.