The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Kemebradikumo Pondei, on Thursday, revealed that no fewer than N1.5b was spent for staffs of the commission as ‘COVID-19 relief funds’.
Speaking during an investigative hearing on the N40 billion corruption allegation against the commission, he added that the fund was spent because they also needed to take care of themselves also.
The Senate had on May 5 set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to investigate the “financial recklessness” of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the commission.
Responding to questions regarding the COVID-19 Relief Fund paid to NDDC staff, the MD said ”only N1.5 billion was used to take care of staff” despite being paid their salaries.
He explained that part of the fund was for the youth of Niger Delta.
”The youth were given palliatives to help cushion the effect of the pandemic on the people. The youth were idle and to avoid violence, they were paid,” he said.
“Five million for youths and five million for women and five million for people living with disabilities in each senatorial district,” he said.
He said ”the remaining fund was spent on staff of the commission.”
“We used it to take care of ourselves. We are NDDC, we need to take care of ourselves too,” he said.