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Those Who Stole NDDC Funds Must Return Loot – Akpabio Warns



Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has warned all those who used their positions to loot funds meant for the development of the Niger Delta to return them no matter how highly placed they are.

The minister who spoke to LEADERSHIP yesterday reiterated that the era in which powerful and influential elements connive with staff at the NDDC to make away with funds meant for the development of the region was over.

According to him, “We want to see major roads and bridges connecting major towns and villages and centres of development emerging across the nine states of the Niger Delta so that people can breathe a new lease of life.”

Akpabio noted  that those who doubted the forensic audit ordered by President Muhmmadu Buhari have now realised it was real and already returning cash and materials earlier stolen by powerful elements who believed they were untouchable.

Akpabio  said: “ I am not satisfied with what is happening in the Niger Delta because the money that is coming to the NDDC is being  hijacked by some people who do not want the money to provide any form b of succour to the larger society. We need a change so that we can use  available money to complete the East-West Road before December, do  some specialist hospitals that can provide holistic health care for the people and create jobs for the people.”

He added that he wants to see a new NDDC with a good balance sheet because for 19 years the commission lost everything to powerful forces that used the NDDC money to  buy limousines for themselves and families leaving the poor people to continue in their squalor.

He said that the forensic audit would show who got what and who  did what with the money they received and that all those who ‘swallowed NDDC money’ will cough it out no matter how  powerful and connected they are. He noted that it has already led to the recovery of money and houses which were stolen before the present leadership came to the scene.

“The audit is meant to reposition the NDDC and not to witch-hunt anyone. I have not given out contracts except the appointment of the forensic experts and COVID-19 tests and equipment for the states. We assisted the governors financially to set up facilities for COVID-19,” he said.