North-east vanguard urges Reps to speed up probe on NEDC

A group, the North-east Vanguard for Good Governance, has commended the House of Representatives for initiating moves to investigate alleged sleaze in the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

A press statement issued by the national coordinator of the group, Pwasato Aaron, made available to our correspondent Wednesday, said “ it is with unwavering patriotic zeal that we brought to the notice of Nigerians the worrying cases of financial sleaze and nepotism that have become common norm at the North East Development Commission.”

The group said, “Rather than boast of massive infrastructure in terms of rebuilding schools, hospitals, provision of pipe borne water and roads among others, which are in line with the core mandate of the Commission following its establishment in 2018, what you find are needless issues that border on personal aggrandisement and nepotism.”

The group recalled that, on July 23, 2020, the House of Representatives resolved to investigate allegations of sleaze and misappropriation of N100 billion at the NEDC. This was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, at plenary.

“After the adoption of the motion, the Committees on Finance, Procurement and NEDC were mandated to exhaustively investigate these allegations and report back to the House after eight weeks. Since July 2020, however, from our findings, nothing has come out of it.”

The statement among other things said, “Since its establishment, no single employment has been carried out as the Managing Director, Mohammed Goni Alkali, singlehandedly hand-picked from the ministries, people from his own tribe of Kanuri,” saying 90%of the about 60 staff of the Commission are Kanuri.

It said the board of the North East Development Commission Education Endowment (Fund-NEDCEF) was inaugurated on August 7, 2020, as an education component of the commission but for close to one year now, the board has not been able to take off, let alone achieving its core mandate of interventions in the education sub-sector, because of meddlesomeness and needless frustrations by the Managing Director.”