Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta Affairs, said the final report of forensic audit of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will be ready by the end of July.

Mr Akpabio, who fielded questions from State House correspondents on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the final report would be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for implementation.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in February 2020 approved the appointment of a lead consultant for the forensic audit of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The minister said that action had been expedited on the process of constitution of the board of NDDC.

“We have fast tracked the process of constituting the board; but we insist that the most important thing is not just the development of the Niger Delta region but how to reposition NDDC to ensure optimal performance as against the practice in the past.

“So, the forensic audit of NDDC is on course and it is progressing very well and I am happy with the progress made so far.

“And I am very certain that by the end of July, which is just a month and a few weeks away, the final result will be given to the president for implementation.

“And in terms of the composition of the board of the NDDC, of course, we have fast tracked the process and the National Assembly will soon get the list.

“But that is not as important as the forensic audit which we are finally given a deadline which is July, that it will end.’’

He said he was hopeful that the new board would use the recommendations of forensic audit to work and reposition the commission.

The minister regretted that, in the past, the headquarters of the commission was not connected to the national grid for 10 years to 15 years.

“And we have noticed the fact that even the headquarters building that was started over 20 years to 24 years ago, nobody was interested.

“I think they were pursuing projects that were probably beneficial to either the staff or the management and not necessarily things that benefited the region.’’

Mr Akpabio said the East-West road was another major area of concentration which the NDDC itself should have taken interest in.

He said he worked on federal roads when he was the governor of Akwa Ibom State.

“And to the glory of God, the president has refunded the money that most of the states used in intervening in federal roads which means it was a good gesture and the president has reciprocated it by the fact that the monies were refunded to those states.

“So, I think, even NDDC should have intervened in the East-West road to ensure its completion because of the economic importance of the road,” he said.

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