Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contractors who abandoned their projects are rushing back to site to avoid prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A few others are said to have returned all monies paid to them before they left their contracts uncompleted.
The Nation gathered yesterday that the anti-graft commission beamed its searchlight on the errant contractors in line with Federal Government’s directive after scrutinising NDDC’s forensic report.
The government had ordered the agency to compel contractors that abandoned their projects to either resume work or return monies paid to them.
A source told our reporter that EFCC was asked to adopt all means, including a plea bargain to retrieve every kobo belonging to the NDDC.
Udengs Eradiri, special adviser to the NDDC Sole Administrator Effiong Akwa, confirmed that some of the contractors had started returning the commission’s money while others had returned to the sites of the projects they abandoned.
He however did not state how much had been returned to the coffers of the NDDC by the errant contractors and the number that went back to their project sites.
Eradiri added that other recommendations contained in the forensic audit report were on course.
He called on all stakeholders to allow the completion of the entire process to enable President Muhammadu Buhari to hand over a reformed NDDC to a new board
“If you go around the region, you will find out that many contractors are going back to the site as a result of the recommendation of the forensic exercise and fear of prosecution. Some were arrested and they are undergoing interrogations,” Eradiri said.
He explained it would take a little longer for a substantive board to be constituted for the commission due to some recommendations in the report.
According to him, some of the recommendations and findings had rendered the Act establishing the NDDC obsolete.
He said: “Following the recommendations of the audit report, the existing Act establishing the EFCC is obsolete. Some of the issues were found to be a result of the default nature of the Act.
”These are some of the gains of the forensic exercise, which the Presidency needs to first and foremost get to a logical conclusion before it can constitute the board.”.
Eradiri added that the report queried the validity of the office of the board chairman, whose only responsibility was simply to sign agreements reached between the commission and stakeholders.
”This chairman, who has no function other than signing agreements has an entire floor to himself with a retinue of staff and a retinue of vehicles including monthly allocations. When a budget is drawn a chunk of it goes into the servicing of the chairman whereas his function is supervisory,” he said.
Eradiri added that the review would include ensuring justice and fairness for some member states, whose oil production had increased over the years.
“The Federal Government cannot in the middle of this game begin to change the goal post. The reason the audit was ordered was because of the defective Act, which had led to a series of infringements in the management of NDDC.
“It will be very unwise for anybody to think that within this period, the government will appoint a board. When the main recommendations are implemented, a proper board devoid of some of the infractions that led to the setback of the NDDC will be constituted,” he said.
May they plea bargain with death and the devil Publish the finding and the forensic reports period.
EFCC and the NDDC is visiting Anyama community, ogbia LGA Bayelsa state and see the shoreline protection contract that had been abandoned by the contractor leaving the community going into extinction.