In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 10th, July, 2020

We Used N1.5 Billion To Take Care Of Ourselves As COVID-19 palliative

We Used N1.5 Billion To Take Care Of Ourselves As COVID-19 palliative

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In keeping with PREMIUM TIMES, the appearing Managing Director of the Niger Delta Improvement Fee (NDDC), Kemebradikumo Pondei, has admitted that the fee spent N1.5 billion for workers as ‘COVID-19 reduction funds’.

He made this assertion on the investigative listening to on the N40 billion corruption allegation towards the fee.

The Senate had on Might 5 arrange a seven-man ad-hoc committee to analyze the “monetary recklessness” of the Interim Administration Committee (IMC) of the fee.

The lawmakers mentioned, throughout the final three months, the fee has spent over N40 billion of the fee’s fund ”with out recourse to established processes of funds disbursement which has opened up additional suspicion amongst stakeholders of the Niger Delta Area.”

Additionally they faulted the IMC’s ”arbitrary use of government energy in an alleged wrongful sacking of administration workers with out recourse to established civil service guidelines and follow with the purpose of allegedly concealing the fraudulent monetary recklessness they’ve dedicated.”

Mr Pondei and different delegates from the fee appeared earlier than the committee on Thursday for the listening to.

A part of the audit report learn out by the chairman of the committee, Olubunmi Adetunmbi, mentioned N3.1 billion was spent as COVID-19 funds between October 2019 and Might 2020.

Within the report, the lawmaker mentioned ”N10 million was paid to at least one individual, N7 million to 2 individuals, N5 million to 3 individuals, 148 individuals took N3 million every, 157 individuals obtained N1.5 million every, 497 individuals obtained N1 million every and 464 individuals have been paid N600,000 every.”

One other N475 million was given to the police to buy face masks and hand sanitisers, he added.

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Responding to questions relating to the COVID-19 Aid Fund paid to NDDC workers, the MD mentioned ”solely N1.5 billion was used to maintain workers” regardless of being paid their salaries.

He defined that a part of the fund was for the youth of Niger Delta.

”The youth got palliatives to assist cushion the impact of the pandemic on the individuals. The youth have been idle and to keep away from violence, they have been paid,” he mentioned.

“5 million for teens and 5 million for ladies and 5 million for individuals residing with disabilities in every senatorial district,”
he mentioned.

He mentioned ”the remaining fund was spent on workers of the fee.”

“We used it to maintain ourselves. We’re NDDC, we have to maintain ourselves too,” he mentioned.

He additional defined that the IMC inherited money owed upon assumption of workplace ”that wanted to be cleared on time.”

He mentioned the earlier administration owed resorts and had unpaid electrical energy payments of about N26 million.

When requested why the police was given N475 million, Mr Pondei mentioned a request was produced from ”the excessive command of police and the administration took a have a look at it and authorized it.”

He defined that the cash ”was an intervention and the NDDC is anticipating a report as to how the cash was spent.”

In the meantime, the appearing deputy director, tasks, Cairo Ojougboh, added that the cash given to police is for 9 states of the Niger Delta area.

The investigative listening to will proceed on Friday, the chairman mentioned.

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