The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dan Abia, has denied claims that N183billion was missing from the commission’s account.
The Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, had last week Wednesday, said that N183billion meant for the development of the Niger Delta could not be accounted for and, therefore, recommended that it should be recovered.
Ukura had said while submitting three special audit reports to the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, that the amount was discovered in the periodic checks carried out by his office on the activities and programmes of the commission between 2008 and 2012.
But speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Managing Director said he denied before him that the sum was missing in the NDDC account as claimed by the Auditor General of the Federation.
He also denied allegation of contract splitting by the commission as he observed that the NDDC was a unique organization with its own budgeting processes.
Abia, who said the meeting with the President was at his own instance and not summoned by the President, explained that he was at the Presidential Villa to brief the President on the mandate of the commission.
“It is only proper that we should come and brief the President. I requested to meet Mr. President in my capacity as the Managing Director of the NDDC. So, I was not summoned as reported in the media. We briefed the President on our mandate,” he said.
He continued: “As far as the audited account of the NDDC is concerned, how many of us know that the audited accounts under reference refers to 2008 to 2012. I was not the Managing Director then. Let’s get that fact clear.
“The second one on not having no access (to audited accounts). I don’t know from when to when. On principle, I came to brief Mr. President properly. Let me assure you that even by the admission of the Auditor General (of the Federation) no N180 billion is missing.
“Because APG (Advance Payment Guarantee) as you know is governed by advanced payment directives. Office of the Auditor General Office is a government agency. Whatever clarification, we shall engage the office and proper record will be strengthened.
“I said that even before the President, no N180b is missing. Let me also tell you that I cannot be a party to contract splitting. NDDC is a very unique institution, we have a budgeting process.
“Those people that are now crying, where were they when NDDC was not having project up till the end of the year.”