Following the forty billion corruption allegation levelled against the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the acting Managing Director of the commission, Kemebradikumo Pondei has admitted that NDDC spent N1.5 billion for staff as COVID-19 relief funds.
He made this known at the investigative hearing on the corruption allegation levelled against the commission.
Earlier, the Senate had set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to investigate the financial recklessness of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC.
The lawmakers said, within the last three months, the commission has spent over N40 billion of the commission’s fund without recourse to established processes of funds disbursement which has opened up further suspicion among stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region.
They also faulted the IMC’s arbitrary use of executive power in an alleged wrongful sacking of management staff without recourse to established civil service rules and practice with the aim of allegedly concealing the fraudulent financial recklessness they have committed.”
NDDC Spent N1.5bn
Mr Pondei and other delegates from the commission appeared before the committee on Thursday for the hearing.
Another N475 million was given to the police to purchase face masks and hand sanitisers, he added.
Responding to questions regarding the COVID-19 Relief Fund paid to NDDC staff, the MD said ”only N1.5 billion was used to take care of staff” despite being paid their salaries.
He explained that part of the fund was for the youth of Niger Delta to cushion the effect of the pandemic on them.