President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that every kobo stolen from the Niger-Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), will be recovered.
The President, who spoke yesterday, during the virtual commissioning of the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said those found culpable will be jailed. He added that the concluded report of the forensic audit of the activities of the Commission was being reviewed for this purpose.
The President, however, expressed regret that the special development fund of the entire region was squandered by a few. He said the result was that many were left in penury, noting that had the funding made available over the years been judiciously and transparently used, the lives of the people of the oil-rich region would have been far better.
He challenged the Commission to prove to both the government and the people of the Niger Delta that it could achieve its set objectives and mandate and directed all statutory contributors to its funding to meet their obligations by remitting all outstanding funds, transparently, to the interventionist agency.
President Buhari further noted that the contract for the building of a 1,050 capacity hostel for male and female students was awarded in 2004, saying that like many others, it was abandoned.
He further said that across many public universities and institutions of higher learning children face accommodation challenges, while private investors were taking advantage of the gap to provide accommodation, unfortunately tasking the resources of parents and guardians. “Many of them are located far away from school premises and come with their own peculiar challenges”, he stated
“The Commission needs to demonstrate that it can achieve the objectives it was conceived for and make its impact felt all over the Niger Delta region. The lives of the people of the Niger Delta could be so much better, if the funding received by this commission since its inception, in billions of naira over the last 20 years, has been judiciously deployed in service of the people.
“The serial abuse, lack of delivery and what had become an entrenched institutional decay, was the reason why I called for the forensic audit. Therefore, going forward we shall ensure every recoverable kobo is recovered for use in service of the people of this region and those found culpable shall face the Law.
“Consequently, I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, and to ensure this is done transparently and according to laid down procedure and process,” he further said.
President Buhari directed that all abandoned projects that directly impact the livelihood of the people should be revived and completed.