IOCs Ordered To Make Direct Payments To NDDC
…..As commission cancels N1bn monthly fee for consultants
Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has cancelled the monthly payment of N1 billion to a middleman/consultant that collect monies from international oil companies (IOCs), on behalf of the commission. The decision to stop the payments was however taken by the interim management of the Commission led by Dr Joy Gbene Nuneh before the Nigerian Senate confirmed a 15-member board NDDC yesterday in Abuja
The NDDC is a Nigerian government agency established in the year 2000 with the sole mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria, made up of nine states, namelyRivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Abia, Imo and Ondo.
The erstwhile acting managing director of the Commission, Dr Nunieh, said in Port Harcourt that the NDDC did not need middlemen to collect statutory funds due to it, and ordered the organizations concerned, who owing the commission to just make payment into NDDC accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“We have a consulting firm engaged as a collection agent. We have another company that also collects 3% whenever money is paid by the international oil companies (IOCs)….we don’t need a middle man to collect 3% for gas. The money should just be paid into NDDC accounts. I have suspended the contract of a collection agent. We are no longer going to pay anyone N1 billion every month. That is wicked,” she said
Dr Nuneh said the monies paid out to the idle contractors can put mono pumps in rural communities in the Niger Delta or buy books and set up primary health centres in the devastated oil region of Nigeria. “The three per cent for a consulting firm is over. That is why we are under pressure. But I laugh because those who live in glass houses should never throw stones,” she said
While ordering a forensic audit of the Commission on October 17th, 2019 between 2001 and 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari noted that what is on ground in the region does not match the amount of money given the Commission since inception. “Those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues. The projects said to have been done must be verifiable. You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done. The president stated.
The NDDC outgoing acting managing director assured however that the NDDC would make sure that everything runs smoothly in the course of the forensic audit ordered by President Buhari, adding that the audit would be deep and detailed.