Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Expanded Interim Management Committee, EIMC, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, has spoken on the incident at the House of Representatives, where he unexpectedly fainted while being questioned by lawmakers, a month ago.
In an interview with Vanguard, Prof. Pondei said that he had a mysterious and unpredictable health challenge and was stunned people thought he was acting.
He said, “I had an unexplained, unexpected health challenge. It is ridiculous to think that people believed I was acting. I would not pray for anyone to experience what I went through. I do not run from issues. I have put all that behind me.
Asked whether alleged contracts received by lawmakers are mistaken for their constituency projects, he said that would be determined by the ongoing forensic audit of the agency.
“We are told that the lawmakers actually facilitated the projects to their constituencies, but also insisted on the contracts been awarded to them or their proxies.
“It is obvious that some of the beneficiaries used proxies to collect contracts from the Commission, don’t think you think they were ingenious than you people in NDDC? That seems to be the case.
“The current EIMC decided to change the way things are done in the NDDC and this is responsible for most of this face-off, he said.
Prof. Pondei also debunked the reports that the NDDC mismanaged N81.5 billion.
“The current EIMC did not spend N81.5bn, he said.
“This was the joint expenditure by both IMCs from October 2019 to 31st May 2020. The current IMC between 20th February 2020 and 31st May, 2020 spent N59.1bn. Out of this, N38.6bn was for capital expenditure, paid to contractors and other expenditure incurred by previous managements.
“The balance was for recurrent expenditure, including backlog of debts owed to service providers and backlog of allowances approved for staff by previous managements, but left unpaid.
“Our sin has been that we have tried to clean up the embarrassing debts incurred by previous managements, he added.