Nigeria to audit Delta region development agency


An overview of the Niger delta where signs of oil spills can be seen in the water in Port Harcourt, Nigeria August 1, 2018. Picture taken August 1, 2018. To match Insight NIGERIA-SECURITY REUTERS/Ron Bousso

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a close audit of the government organization set up in 2000 to develop the oil-rich but stubbornly poor Niger Delta region.

Despite the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) having been at work for nearly 20 years, the region remains largely underdeveloped.

Buhari’s office said on Thursday that the audit would cover nearly the entire history of the NDDC, from 2001 to 2019.

“With the amount of money the federal government has allocated to the NDDC, we’d like to see the results on the ground,” Buhari said, adding that “one cannot see” the work that should have come from billions spent by the group.

“Those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues.”

The statement came after a visit to the presidential villa by governors of the states that make up the commission, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.

Buhari said he would wait for the concluded audit before taking any further action.

Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Libby George; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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