The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the appointment of eight field experts to undertake the forensic auditing of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswin Akpabio, made the disclosure to State House correspondents after the council’s meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
According to the minister, the field auditors will complement the work of the lead auditors, appointed in March.
He said over N300 million was approved for the initial lead auditors, and over N700 million for the eight newly appointed auditors as payments for their services.
The minister explained that the auditors would evaluate all the 12,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta region in the last 19 years.
Akpabio said: “The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs today presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council and at the end of the deliberations, the memo was approved.
“The memo is basically the appointment of field forensic auditors to undertake the forensic auditing of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
“The field forensic auditors are going to be designated to go through the states of the Niger Delta region.
“Earlier we had the lead forensic auditor that was approved sometime in March; now we have about eight other forensic auditors who have been approved and they are going to be working in the field in the region.”
He said that one of them, Ernst and Young, was an international group that would be in charge of programmes and activities at the headquarters.
“This has really kick-started the commencement of evaluation of the abandoned projects of NDDC in the last 19 years estimated at almost 12,000 projects.
“At the end we will be in the position to know the ones that could be completed, the ones that will be useful and the low hanging fruits that could be plucked for the benefit of the people of the region,’’ he said.
Akpabio said the result of the evaluation would determine the next line of action on the projects.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, also told the correspondents that his ministry obtained approval to revise the estimated total cost of consultancy services for the ongoing Ogbese Dam project in Ekiti.
Adamu described the dam project as one of those projects the current administration was eager to complete.
“I presented a memo requesting the council to approve the revised estimated total cost of consultancy services for the ongoing Ogbese Dam Project in Ekiti State.
“This project is one of the 116 projects that we inherited. It was started in 2009.
“It was one of the projects we prioritised for completion since we conducted an audit of all the ongoing projects in 2016. We have been working on it steadily.
“So, we got an augmentation of about N101 million and an extension of 24 months,’’ he said.