Senate accuses NDDC of increasing water hyacinth contract from N2.5bn to N65bn without appropriation

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The Senate says it is probing the award of Water Hyacinth  Emergency and Desilting Contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2017 to 2019.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, made this known when the Director, Special Duties of NDDC, Nosakhare Agbongiasede appeared before the committee in Abuja on Thursday.

Urhoghide said that the investigation became imperative because the initial cost of the contract at N2.5 billion was allegedly jerked to N65 billion on the project.

“Of course, that is a very serious offence. What we are hearing or what we know is that N2.5 billion was budgetted for this activity, that is, desilting and clearing of water hyacinths.

“We are hearing that the Commission has spent N65 billion, so, we want to know if it is true.

“We had invited the acting Managing Director and Management of the NDDC to come and testify before this committee of the Senate on Public Accounts on an issue that has become of national importance.

“That is, the award of contracts that has to do with the clearing of water hyacinth in the Niger Delta Region, and of course the desilting contracts awarded by the NDDC under its emergency programme.

“We want to be able to ascertain if due processes were followed in the award of these contracts, particularly with the information we have at our disposal that they exceeded budget limits.

”It is an allegation. It is still an assumption until they come to clear the air surrounding this.

“This is why the senate is particularly interested and has mandated this committee to carry out full investigation.

“So, we want the Acting MD to come. We are aware that the acting MD assumed duties a few weeks ago but government is a continuum.

“It is not a case of whether she is the one that was in office or not, and again we are very clear that this committee is not out to witch hunt anybody,” he said.

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