By Chioma Iruke
Nigeria’s Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio on Thursday said 13,000 projects are abandoned in the region.
Mr Akpabio made the revelation while submitting the Forensic Audit Report on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in Abuja.
“The report of the audit committee showed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and even before the submission of the report some contractors have returned to site on their own and completed about 77 road projects.
“Although the exercise had a checkered history, I thank Mr President and all those who supported and ensured its success,” Akpabio informed.
He stressed that the exercise was not done to witch-hunt anyone, but to ensure that the huge sums of funds committed to the area yearly are justified.
Akpabio further lamented that the region had remained backwards since 1958 in spite of successive governments’ efforts through the creation of various interventionist programmes and projects.
Lead Forensic Auditor, Kabir Ahmed, in a brief overview of the report, said the team recommended managerial, as well as structural changes, chief of which is the downsizing of the NDDC’s board.
He said to reduce cost, the team recommended that members of the team should henceforth be appointed on part time basis.
According to reports, the appointment of members of the board of the NDDC had been suspended until release of the audit report.