The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has formally invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to fish out the fraudulent contractors and make them cough out the public funds or face prosecution.
It was revealed that the need to invite the anti-graft agency became necessary following the huge cash paid out to companies and individuals for jobs not yet done.
The Acting Managing Director of the NDDC commissioner, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, formally invited the anti-graft agency to be part of the forensic audit being undertaken by the interim management committee as ordered by the Federal Government when he paid a visit to the Port Harcourt Zonal office of EFCC on Tuesday.
Pondei explained that it was imperative to call in the EFCC operatives in order to help the NDDC in establishing why those who were given contracts and paid abandoned the jobs and went away with the cash.
The interim NDDC boss also asked the EFCC to avail the commission with its status report on all its investigation reports on cases involving the federal government intervention agency.
Pondei said: “We have reports of projects awarded and paid for but not executed. There is a need for us to work on these cases.” The NDDC boss noted that petitions, both genuine and frivolous, from communities on abandoned projects, have become a source of distraction to the management committee.
In his remarks, the EFCC Zonal Head, Usman Imam, described the visit by the NDDC team as remarkable, noting that it would go a long way in helping to bridge whatever gaps existed between the agencies.
While congratulating the interim management committee on its appointment, Imam pointed out that its assignment appears daunting in the face of extremely negative public perception of the agency.
He noted that when he assumed office as Zonal Head in Port Harcourt, he had the impression that that NDDC was next to oil bunkering when it comes to corruption.
“I believe the government is mindful of this negative image which is the reason for the appointment of the interim management committee and the institution of a forensic audit,” Imam said.
He pleaded with the interim management to strive to change the negative perception by delivering on the mandate given to it by Mr. President.
“I want to assure you that EFCC is willing to support you through the investigation of any alleged case of fraud. What we require from you is a willingness to share information and trust in our ability to handle such cases with dispatch,” Imam stated. Vanguard