#NDDCProbe: “NDDC Spent N1.3bn Not 1.5bn To Take Care Of Staff As COVID-19 palliative”

The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Kemebradikumo Pondei, says N1.32 billion was spent for staff COVID-19 palliative.

#NDDCProbe: "NDDC Spent N1.3bn Not 1.5bn To Take Care Of Staff As COVID-19 palliative"
More Drama As NDDC Boss Pondei, Lawmakers Exchange Blows Over Probe

He had earlier claimed that the commission spent N1.5bn to take care of staff amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Mr Pondei made the comment during the probe by lawmakers over ‘missing N40 billion’ in the NDDC accounts.

“The youth were given palliatives to help cushion the effect of the pandemic on the people. The youth were idle and to avoid violence, they were paid,” he added.

“Five million for youths and five million for women and five million for people living with disabilities in each senatorial district,” he said.

However, on Monday, when asked again about the ‘relief funds,’ he said he must have said “1.5 billion” while he was not attentive.

“The amount the IMC used to take care of NDDC staff as COVID-19 palliative was N1.32 billion, not 1.5 billion,” he said to the question posed to him by the coordinator of the panel, who took over after the chairman stepped aside at the start of the hearing over allegations of bias.

Mr Pondei disagreed with the committee that the commission had extrabudgetary spending by approving that sum for themselves.

He also said N81.5 billion was spent from October 2019 to May 31, this year by the NDDC.

Of this, he explained, the incumbent interim management committee which came in February spent N59.1 billion.

“Of this, N38.6 billion was spent on capital projects,” he said, from which “N35.3 billion was paid to contractors hired by previous administrations.”

He added that N20.5 billion was spent on recurrent expenditure between February 20, 2019, and May 21, this year. “They are a backlog of debt for about three years,” he said.

“Duty tour allowance hasn’t been paid for three years; we cleared it.” Scholarship fee hasn’t been paid since 2016, he said, adding that the NDDC paid N500,000 to each beneficiary.

Mr Pondei’s probe was cut short after he slumped and was rushed to the hospital.

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