An ad-hoc committee of the Nigerian Senate set up to probe allegations of financial recklessness in the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has asked the Professor Daniel Pondei-led IMC to refund the sum of N4.932 billion to the account of the NDDC.
The sum of money was reportedly doled out to staff members of the commission for COVID-19 palliative, procurement for Lassa fever kit, amongst others.
Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Olubunmi Ayodeji Adetumbi, read the report before his colleagues in the Red Chamber on Thursday.
According to the report, the breakdown of the expenditure shows that N85.7 million, N105.5 million and N164.2 million were spent on overseas travels, scholarship grants and union members’ trip to Italy respectively.
Other funds to be refunded are N1.96 billion, N1.12 billion and N1.49 billion for Lassa fever kit, public communication and COVID-19 relief.
The Senate also declared that “all expenditures on historical contracts and obligations, including hotel accommodation, court judgment, should be refunded by the IMC, as payments are not provided for in the budget.”
The committee equally recommended the return of the supervision of the NDDC to the Presidency, dissolution of the IMC and that President Muhammadu Buhari should appoint a substantive board for the agency.
The ad-hoc committee also recommended that the claim that some legislators benefitted from contract awards be investigated by the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the Senate and should report back in four weeks.