Thursday , 22 October 2020

NDDC Fraud : Buhari ‘ll act after receiving NASS resolutions — Presidency

THE Presidency is following the ongoing probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the National Assembly with keen interest, and will act decisively on the resolution of the legislative arm on the matter at the appropriate time.

Presidency sources said the executive arm was also not unaware of public apprehension  over  the issues already laid before the National Assembly and the Thursday resolution  by the Senate, calling in which it asked  President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC.

But the Presidency vowed that under no circumstances would it be pressured into making any hasty comments or take a decision when the probe has not been made known  or its  resolution passed to the seat of power.

Following the massive financial malpractices allegations at the NDDC many Nigerians have  been calling for an action from the Buhari administration, especially against those so far mentioned as the perpetrators of  the alleged corruption .

The Senate, on Thursday, had adopted the recommendation of its ad-hoc committee on the alleged misappropriation of N40 billion by the IMC and passed a resolution, which among other things, called for the dissolution of the IMC, and refund of all the funds allegedly misappropriated.

The House of Representatives is expected to also tow the same path in its expected resolution.

However, reacting to the growing public apprehension over the damning allegations,

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari would not act based on media reports but wait for the resolutions of the National Assembly.

“I don’t want to preempt that,” he said.

“What I want to tell you is that if you want us to react to the resolutions of the National Assembly, the standard practice is that resolutions, like approved bills and all of that, are presented to the Presidency.

“We don’t want to react to media reports  because of their inaccuracies and reporting by the media, we can do things that will hurt the cordial relationship the Executive and the Legislature.

“Nobody else wants to be rushed into any comment concerning any resolution by the House, until we receive in the Villa. The President receives them and directs actions.”

Buhari had recently expressed his interest in getting to the root  of the NDDC crisis and urged the National Assembly and  the law enforcement agencies to adopt better coordination in unraveling the commission’s problems as well as expedite actions on the task.

The President had said “I am determined to get to the root of the problem undermining the development of the Niger Delta, in spite of the enormous national resources dedicated to this annually. This administration remains committed to bringing rapid, even and sustainable development to the region.

“In line with this, I have made it clear to the National Assembly and our investigating and law enforcement agencies to pursue better coordination in their work, so that the shared goal of ensuring sanity, transparency and accountability of dedicated funds can be achieved.

“All investigating agencies and auditing firms currently working collaboratively with National Assembly Committees to audit and reposition the NDDC must act with urgency and a sense of purpose, and ensure that I am kept informed of any and all actions being taken.

“Our determination to entrench transparency and accountability applies not only to the NDDC, but also to all other institutions of the Federal Government. We will not relent”, he said.

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