The federal government of Nigeria has kicked against talks of scrapping the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
DAILY REPORT learnt that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Umana, made the disclosure during a retreat of senior staff of the NDDC and the MNDA.
An official of the Ministry, who spoke in confidence and anonymity, revealed that Umana vehemently kicked against suggestions to scrap the scheme.
According to the official, the new minister insisted that the NDDC would be sustained, expanded and reviewed to eliminate all forms of corruption within the system.
The official further said that a resolution was reached for the NDDC to henceforth streamline projects against the usual practice of awarding so many jobs in one fiscal year.
“The idea is to retain the scheme,” the source said.
The official also noted that contractors who have completed their jobs will soon be paid based on decisions reached at the retreat.
“Henceforth, the NDDC will work closely with the National Assembly to ensure that projects are streamlined. Projects that had been completed would be inaugurated and the commission will also stop issuing emergency contracts.
“It was also agreed the NDDC should cancel all projects that had been awarded but the contractors refused to mobilise to their sites. The money for such projects will now be used to complete other abandoned projects.
The official also revealed that the forensic audit carried out on the commission was being implemented in phases.
“The forensic audit report is being implemented in phases. The area that concerned the National Assembly had been sent to the lawmakers. The areas that concern the anti-graft agency have also been directed to them.
“A staff audit has also been ordered to ensure proper placement of workers and retirement of those directors due for retirement. The Niger Delta stakeholders should expect a new NDDC that responds to their yearnings under the current minister”, he said.