Security Team of Forensic Auditors Submits NDDC Report

Nseobong Okon-Ekong in Lagos and Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The security team of the forensic auditors scrutinising the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between 2001 and 2020 has submitted its report to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

The leader of the 389-member security team, Rear Admiral Bamidele Oluwagbamila, submitted the report to the minister in his office in Abuja, Monday, even as the main audit report was still being awaited.

Amid mounting pressure by stakeholders, Akpabio had on June 23 assured the Nigerian people that the main audit report of the about 12,000 projects across the nine NDDC catchment areas would be ready at the end of July for onward submission to President Muhammadu Buhari.

While submitting the report, Oluwagbamila remarked that the security team, formed about a year ago comprised personnel of the Nigerian Navy, Army, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and was put up to provide security for the auditors as they carried out the forensic audit of the NDDC.

He disclosed that the team worked with the auditors and provided the right environment, adequate security at the hotels and the various project sites, which enabled a successful execution of the job.

According to him, “We enjoyed the support of the ministry. We were provided with all the logistics that were needed for the job and over 398 personnel of the security agencies were involved in this exercise. This is a very big plus for the minister for carrying out this audit exercise and for all the support he has given us.”

He claimed that, throughout the period of the exercise, the team did not lose anyone, adding that, “All the properties that were entrusted in their care, we can confidently account for them.”

While expressing gratitude for the honour and privilege to have worked in the capacity as chairman of the security team, he expressed the hope that the report would help the authorities to take appropriate decisions that would move NDDC and the Niger Delta region forward.

In his remarks, the minister, who received the report from the security team, expressed satisfaction on the job done, stating that the report would definitely be a turning point for the NDDC and the development of the Niger Delta region.

Akpabio reiterated the president’s directive for a holistic examination and review of the operations of the NDDC, which culminated in the inauguration of forensic auditors and subsequently the security team for the auditors in order to salvage NDDC and the entire Niger Delta region.

“From my own observation, l want to thank you for taking this national assignment seriously. This assignment was from the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, though being supervised by the ministry. I want to thank you on his behalf, the security committee, for a very difficult job done well.

“From all indications, it is clear that the security agency were not only committed to their assignment but also carried out their task with professionalism. As such, there were no incidences on the forensic auditors, support staff – whether in their areas of residence or in the communities (individuals or groups).

“They welcomed you mostly with pomp and pageantry; they were excited to see all of you and they gave you all the cooperation. l believe that is because of the approach and tactics you used in approaching your job,” he said.

The minister, therefore, expressed gratitude for the timely completion of the forensic audit report, which would be submitted to the president, adding that the security team exhibited high level of discipline, candour and brilliant comportment, knowing that the exercise would not be successful without security assistance.

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