The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has said, with the approval of the engagement of the final batch of the forensic auditors by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the commencement of the exercise in earnest, there is an urgent need to provide necessary security for the Audit Firms and their personnel throughout the duration of the audit exercise.
The Minister stated this during the inauguration of the Security Committee for the Field Forensic Auditors of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Tuesday September 29, 2020.
The Minister recalled that in response to the yearnings of the Governors of the Niger Delta region arising from the huge gap between resources invested in the region vis a vis the infrastructural, human and economic development recorded by the NDDC, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a holistic Forensic Audit of the activities of the Commission from inception to August 2019 in other to reposition it for effective service delivery to the region.
Stating the terms of reference for the Committee, the Minister noted among other responsibilities that, they are to “ensure security and protection for the Forensic Audit Personnel and the materials to be used and also make appropriate security recommendations to the Ministry in the conduct of the Forensic exercise when necessary.”
Speaking further, Akpabio stated that the importance of the Security Committee to the success of the forensic audit exercise cannot be over emphasized considering the various interest, the volatility of the region and desperate attempt of some individuals to derail the exercise.
The Minister therefore solicited for the maximum cooperation, of the Security Committee members, adding that he is counting on their professionalism and expertise to ensure a hitch free exercise.
The Membership of the Committee is drawn from both the Ministry and Security Agencies, with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo as Chairman and Director, Planning Research and Statistic (PRS), Mr. Alfred Abah, Secretary. Representatives of the following Agencies as members of the Security Committee include: Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Police Force, Department of State Security Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC).
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo in his remarks noted that the inauguration of the Security Committee for the Forensic Auditors of the NDDC marks another milestone in the drive by Mr. President and the Minister to reposition the NDDC away from the hullabaloo situation being witnessed in the Commission to that of a well-positioned and better-focused interventionist agency for effective service delivery.
He said that from 1999 to date, out of the 12,000 projects said to have been executed, available information shows that some of these projects are yet to commence, while some have been abandoned. Therefore, Mr. President in his wisdom approved the Forensic Auditing of the various projects, to ascertain the correct position of things in the Commission. Sixteen Forensic Auditors have been approved for the exercise.
In his response, Commodore Bamidele Oluwagbamila of the Nigerian Navy (NN) on behalf of members of the Security Committee for the Field Forensic Auditors of the NDDC, said it is an honour to be part of the Committee and pledged their loyalty to work assiduously with the auditors to achieve their purpose and ensure that the overall objective of Mr. President for setting up the Committee is achieved.
D (Press & PR),
September 30, 2020