Nigeria’s Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Monday, contended that most contracts given by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were awarded to members of the country’s National Assembly.
Akpabio made the claim while being grilled by members of the House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC during a public hearing monitored by www.Africanewscircle.com.
The Minister had been invited by the lawmakers on Friday to explain his actions as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and shed more light on the alleged heist of public funds and gross financial misappropriation said to have festered within the NDDC.
Akpabio’s made the claim while responding to a question about the NDDC’s expenditure amid a forensic audit.
“We cannot close down the Niger Delta Development Commission because of the fact that we are doing (a) forensic audit,” he held.
“The NDDC plays a vital role in ensuring the peace and security of the region and 90 percent or more of the resources of the country come from there.
“If you close it down in totality all you will have is chaos. You will have a lot of, not just militancy, you will have a lot of insurrection.
“So it is important that people who have gone to court, people who genuinely did jobs should be paid for their jobs. For me, I am not against it because, of course, who are even the greatest beneficiaries? It is you people.”
Apparently irked by the bold claim, a member of the committee asked Akpabio to substantiate the “you people” allegation.
“I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly,” the former governor and Senator stated strongly.