The Executive Director of Projects, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Cairo Ojougboh, says the NDDC gave N340 million to indigenes to help inspectors to identify projects within their locality.
Cairo disclosed this during an interview with Arise TV during the House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC probe of the agency’s activities and spendings.
In relation to allegations of extra-budgetary spending, the director admitted that the funds being spent were not approved by the National Assembly but stated that the NDDC was allowed to spend 50 per cent of the proposed budget it had submitted to the National Assembly.
When asked why N340 million was given to the indigenes, Cairo said, “There are 185 local governments in the Niger Delta region and we have the list of contacts in all the local governments. Normally, when the forensic auditors arrive, people chase them out of the place.
“So, indigenes are appointed as pointers who will stay in the local government. All those jobs that are abandoned, they will go and show them where the site is.”
When asked if it was necessary to give indigenes such a huge sum of money to help point out projects to external auditors, Cairo said, “You must need pointers and again, the auditors must have friendly people on the ground who will build synergy for them and the locals.”