Those who embezzled NDDC funds must return them - Akpabio

Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, has said that those who embezzled funds meant for the development of the Niger Delta must return them no matter who they are.

Reacting to the ongoing probe of the NDDC, Akapbio alleged that some powerful and influential elements connived with NDCC staff to looted funds meant for the development of the region.

The minister noted that the era of embezzlement in the commission was over and it was time to use the fund remaining available to work for the overall well being of the people of the troubled region.

He said that those who doubted the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari have now realised it was real and already working leading to the return of cash and materials earlier looted away by powerful elements who believed they were untouchable.

He said: “I am not satisfied with what is happening in the Niger Delta because they money that is coming to the NDDC is being hijacked by some people who do not want the money to provide any form of succour to the larger society. We need a change so that we can use available money to complete the East-West Road before December, do some specialist hospital that can provide holistic health care for the people and create jobs for the people.

“I want to see a new NDDC with a good balance sheet because for 19 years we lost everything to powerful forces who used the NDDC money to buy limousines for themselves and families leaving the poor people to continue in their squalor.

"For this reason, the forensic audit will show who got what and who did what with the money they received and I can assure you that all those who swallowed NDDC money will cough it out no matter how powerful and connected they are. It has already led to the recovery of money and houses which were stolen before we came to the scene.

“The audit is meant to reposition the NDDC and not to witch-hunt anyone. I have not given out contracts except the appointment of the forensic experts and coved19 tests and equipment for the states. We assisted the governors financially to set up facilities for coved 19.

"We have blocked all loopholes and all money of NDDC is now in CBN and not scattered in banks at home and abroad as before.

“We want to see major roads and bridges connecting major towns and villages and centres of development emerging across the nine states of the Niger Delta so that people can breathe a new lease of life."

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