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EFCC to investigate abandoned NDDC projects



The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has said that the commission will soon visit the Niger Delta region to investigate abandoned Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)’s projects in the area.

Mr Magu said this on Thursday while receiving a delegation from the National Association of Niger-Delta Students (NANDS) who paid him a courtesy visit at the EFCC office, Abuja, according to a news report published on the EFCC website.

“We will visit such projects and ensure the completion of the projects and where money has been taken, we will go after them and recover the money,” Mr Magu reportedly said.

“We will ensure that justice is done. We will go after the thieves and recover the money,” he added.

“There’ll be a project monitoring team which will partner civil societies to monitor the award of contracts by the NDDC and execution of the projects.”

The student body was at the EFCC office to present an award – the 21st Century Icon of Integrity and Role Model to the Younger Generation – to Mr Magu.

The president of the group, Lucky Emonefe, who led the delegation, described the EFCC boss as “a fearless and dogged fighter” and promised to mobilise the youth in the region to embrace the fight against corruption.

Mr Magus said he was encouraged by the support from the students.

Tijah Bolton-Akpan, the Executive Director of Policy Alert, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on fiscal governance in Akwa Ibom and other states in Nigeria, said Mr Magu’s declaration is a welcome development.

“For me, I feel that it is one thing for the current NDDC management to speak the language of reform, and it’s entirely a different ball game for the reform to be seen to be actually happening.

“And how can we actually see the reform to be happening? That can only happen when people who defrauded the people in the past, people who have added to the poverty, the abandoned projects, and poor infrastructure in the region are brought to book,” Mr Bolton-Akpan said on Friday.

He said the volume of abandoned projects in the region was mind-blowing.

“We just conducted a survey of citizen’s perception of NDDC projects in Akwa Ibom. Everywhere we went, citizens were complaining about how much these projects have been abandoned and the poor quality of work.

“To be fair to the NDDC, last year the current management of NDDC terminated more than 600 ‘non-performing’ contracts across the nine states in the region. That was just the first batch, according to them. So, we had this feeling that it was going to be a continuous process.

“But the challenge is that we do not know which contract has actually been terminated and which ones are abandoned by contractors. This is a problem for citizen monitors who would like to ask questions on these projects,” Mr Bolton-Akpan said.

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