Scholarship Budget Diverted into Private Accounts of NDDC officials – Witness

The Head of Research at the Act for Positive Transformation Initiative (APTI), Johnson Kolawole, alleged that some officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) diverted  monies meant for students under scholarship into their personal accounts.
Kolawole spoke when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee investigating alleged fraudulent activities in the NDDC.

”They (students) kept crying that their dues are not being paid and they are being locked out by their schools,” Kolawole said.

He claimed that while the students were complaining of the non-payment of the scholarship monies, “the NDDC team were busy paying themselves monies meant for students.”

He said some of the affected students had reached out to him to complain about their plight.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the students “as fast as possible, even if it means bending the rules.”

He also said that the IMC had expended over N80 billion between January 2020 and May 2020 as against the N22 billion repeatedly portrayed by the IMC.

He said that the 2019 Appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly provided for some emergency projects across the state in the region with an additional N800 million as emergency contingency sum.

According to him, the IMC has spent N20 billion on emergency road repairs; there are fraudulent cases of contract inflation and non-implementation.

“How would they explain the payment of N13.6 million for consultancy on the construction of ‘infant Jesus’?

He said: “On May 19, 2020, the IMC paid a firm N39.375 million as consultancy fee for rebuttal. What a waste!

“The company had earlier received 34 million naira into its account for ‘consultancy on reputation management for NDDC’.

“Same day, when businesses and countries were closing their doors, the same company was paid N34 million for ‘Niger Delta Development Forum in Washington DC, USA’ and another N32.9 million for ‘Summit on NDDC and Investment Opportunities in Dorchester, London’, same day.

“There was no evidence of implementation of above contracts. Money paid went to private individuals; this ad hoc committee can call for the account statements of the firm to verify this.

“Same company received into same account a sum of 536 Million Naira for “campaign to save lives” in the Niger Delta on April 23, 2020.

“The payment was broken into 16 units to divert attention. Again, the money went into private pockets. Some staffs of the commission were beneficiaries.

“May 22nd, another N641 million was paid to same company for media support for forensic audit as though forensic audit was meant to be a media affair.”