• July 29, 2021

NDDC Probe: We Spent N1.32bn On COVID-19 Palliatives, Not N1.5bn, Pondei Recants

By Olivia Isibor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Before slumping during cross-examination on Monday at the resumed hearing of probes into the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the House of Representatives,  Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, the acting Managing Director of the commission  had disclosed that the commission only spent N1.32billion, and not N1.5 billion on COVID-19 palliatives as earlier stated.

Pondei, whose latest submission was a recant of the one he made at a previous hearing where he told the lawmakers that the commission spent only N1.5 billion as palliatives for taking care of NDDC staff, said he had misunderstood the question that was put to him during the previous session, adding that the N1.5billion “take care of ourselves” clause which he stated about two weeks ago, was uttered out of anger.

On questions regarding unpaid scholarships, the acting MD denied handing out bursaries, saying that the commission usually processed scholarships for the students, went to various universities for verifications after which letters were drafted and estacodes were prepared, adding that the procedure for the disbursement of allowances had been in place before he joined the commission.

He assured that the commission had started the processing of payments, and that backlogs of all scholarships from 2016 would be offset.

Agenda Watchdog

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