Ten months after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the forensic audit of the troubled Niger Delta Development Commission, forensic auditors have finally been appointed to go to the various Niger Delta states to conduct the audit.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, who briefed journalists after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting.
Mr Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, said the FEC approved a memo for the appointment of the forensic auditors.
“The memo is basically the appointment of Field Forensic Auditors to undertake the forensic auditing of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Field Forensic Auditors are going to be designated to go through the states of the Niger Delta region.
“Earlier we had the lead forensic auditor that was approved sometime in March and now we have about eight other forensic auditors who have been approved and they are going to be working in the field in the Niger Delta region,” Mr Akpabio said.
When asked why the forensic audit was so delayed, Mr Akpabio blamed the late passage of the NDDC budget.
“By the time I assumed office in august 2019, we discovered there was no budget for the NDDC for the year 2019 up to that September. So we submitted two budgets in November to the National Assembly. And it took quite a while until in April, the budget details were given out to the NDDC in April, to end 31st of May, less than six weeks. So there was a provision of N1.25 billion in the budget of 2019 for the forensic audit exercise.
“So, basically what delayed it what the absence of budget, not the absence of the will,” he said.
More details later…