Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, OAGF and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC yesterday disagreed over the N70billion mobilisation fees allegedly collected by some contractors handling the commission’s various projects without moving to site, let alone executing them.
While the Auditor General’s Office insisted that the amount paid to contractors by the NDDC was N70billion, going by its findings, the commission said only N11billion was the actual worth of contracts not executed between 2011 and 2012.
These were revealed when they appeared before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, SPAC, chaired by Senator Andy Emmanuel Uba (PDP Anambra South) for public hearing at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
An Assistant Director, Public Accounts Committee Division in the AGF Office, Mr Emmanuel Akpan, made the revelation while making submissions before the committee.
According to him, while the NDDC’s office in response to a query issued it by the Office of the Auditor- General over the ugly development said projects worth N11 billion were affected by the scam, the Auditor- General’s office, based on findings made so far, strongly believes that the total sum of the scam is N70,495, 993, 761.
“The real value of contracts upon which monies have been collected by NDDC contractors during the period under review, as at the time of auditing, was N70.4billion and not N11billion the NDDC office is claiming now.
“There is need for NDDC officials to practically prove that contractors involved in close to N60billion gap they are trying to create , have actually gone to site and executed their projects not on paper but physically on ground,” he said.
He further disclosed that not less than 1, 733 contractors were involved in the scam. But while officials from the Office of the Accountant – General of the Federation concurred to the submission made by the Auditor – General over NDDC ‘s contract awards and execution from 2008 to 2012, NDDC officials led by their acting Managing Director, IbimSemenitari, disagreed vehemently by saying that latest records available to them indicated that N11billion worth and not N70billion projects were affected by the contract scam.
Director of Finance in NDDC, JimohEgbejule said the commission had on its own audited the various projects awarded during the period under review, and discovered that the said scam affected N11billion worth projects and not N70.4billion as reported by the Office of the Auditor- General, a contradictory submission that made the committee, through its chairman, to adjourn the sitting for a month.
Senator Uba said the public hearing was cut short to enable the Auditor-General’s Office and NDDC reconcile their differences on whether it was N70billion or N11billion that is the correct amount defrauded the commission by the contractors.
“There is need to stop this public hearing abruptly so as to allow the three parties time to sit down and harmonise their findings and reports on the subject matter.
“Definitely, this committee is not satisfied with what has happened but we have to give them time to meet and harmonise whatever they can harmonise before coming back to us to present their updated reports upon which we can now do the proper probing without one agency saying it doesn’t have the reports the other is presenting and so on and so forth.
“Unfortunately, the new MD did not know anything; she didn’t understand what was going on.They didn’t carry her along but I am glad that she’s willing to work, she’s ready to go through it with a fine toothcomb line by line with the Auditor General and Accountant General’s queries to make sure that there is prompt response to the queries.
“But I am glad that today, in one month’s time, I am sure we would know the truth about the whole differences,” the committee chairman stressed.
The new NDDC boss, Mrs. IbimSemenitari on her part, promised to go over the records properly within the one month duration given, with a view to later presenting before it the truth and nothing but the truth about the alleged contract scam.
“We would respond in all honesty with all of the documentations before us but like I said they might have been some errors here and there because they didn’t see all of the documentation. It’s too early to decide what it might be.I am sure by the time they respond fully we would be able to show Nigerians facts as they are.
“Again, like I told you we would not shield any contractor who hasn’t done his job, we would not shield anyone who has to be indicted.This is a new administration and we are committed to transparency,” she said.

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