President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan said the Senate’s investigation being carried out into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) finances was to complement ongoing forensic audit by the Federal Government.
Lawan explained this on Tuesday in Abuja while inaugurating the seven-man ad hoc committee constituted by Senate to investigate the alleged financial recklessness in the NDDC.
“We are in total support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive for the forensic audit of NDDC finances, and this is, in some ways, complementary to that directive,” the Senate president said.
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He said the investigation would avail the management of the Commission an opportunity to defend the allegations against it.
Lawan said: “We have no predetermined position on the outcome of this investigation as an institution.
” Issues raised are allegations, therefore, the NDDC has the opportunity to come forward and defend its position.
“But we have a mindset and our mindset in the Senate is that we have to have NDDC that is effective and efficient in service delivery to the people of Niger Delta. This is the essence of setting it up.
“We want to see a situation where the very limited resources that are appropriated for the Commission are prudently and transparently deployed for the development of the region.
”This is our mindset and we will not shy away from the responsibility at any time we feel a sense that is not happening,” he said.
The Senate President said the NDDC, as a pioneer intervention agency in the country, should take the lead on how its intervention could be effective, efficient and meet the yearnings of the people.
He expressed the hope that, at the end of the investigation, the NDDC and the Senate would continue to work together to ensure efficient and effective service delivery to the people.
In his remarks, Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Sen. Olubunmi Adetumbi, described the allegations that necessitated the setting up of the committee as numerous and weighty.
Olubunmi noted that the allegation consists of misapplication and misappropriation of N40 billion among others.
He assured the Senate leadership of the committee’s resolve to be open-minded.
“It is not an exercise aimed at witch-hunting any individual, groups or institutions, but rather to get at the root of the matter for the overall good of the nation,” Adetumbi said
Other members of the committee are Senators Hassan Hadejia, Dauda Jika, Umar Al-Makura, Barinada Mpigi, Abdulfatai Buhari and Chukwuka Utazi.