Senate queries NDDC over alleged N698m payment for security | NN NEWS


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The Senate Public Accounts Committee has queried the management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for allegedly paying N698 million for regional security surveillance of the agency’s projects without evidence of service delivery. 

The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, issued the query while scrutinising the 2018 report of the Auditor General for the Federation (AuGF). 

The AuGF indicted the NDDC, which reviewed the agency’s accounting records, between 2013 and 2018. 

The panel noted that the contract for the surveillance was not subjected to open competitive bidding according to Public Procurement Act 2007 24 (1). 

Part of the AuGF report read: “It was observed from the payment documents that between January 2017 and June 2018 that the sum of N698 million were expended or transfered to private security consultants for the ‘Regional Security’ Surveillance of NDDC projects in Niger Delta. 

“Engaging private security outfits in this volatile terrain is highly doubtful as they cannot be better than the Nigerian military, police, NSCDC who are always at the service of the commission. 

“The audit team made relentless efforts to site the contract files of the security consultants with the view to verifying the term of engagement and the NSCDC clearance proved abortive. 

“Thus, making it very difficult or if not impossible to verify this claim as many of the purported private security consultants are not security outfits. 

“Audit inspection at the Niger Delta state offices and subsequent visitations to the project site could not be on site, and for those few that were on the site, only Setraco Nig. Ltd had soldiers on ground without the presence of the security as claimed. 

“Therefore, these are viewed as payment for services not executed contrary to Financial Regulations 708 & 3104. 

“The management should ensure that the consultants refund the sum of N689 million and furnish the office of the Auditor General for the Federation with evidence of recovery for authentication.” (THISDAY) 

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