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It is appalling that past and present Ministers and Managing Directors appointed to oversee the affairs of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) respectively have transformed the duo into a cash cow as the award of fictitious contracts to unqualified mushroom companies in other to divert funds to their accounts seems to have become a standard in the Commission.

This is as Prof. Daniel kemebradikumo Pondei in collaboration with the ‘uncommon transformer, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio has uncommonly transformed the level of corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to neck-breaking degrees.

A mind bugling example is the award of a contract with reference number TSA/PRG/20/01/0006 to Crèmes Ltd for the supply of 21,000 Lassa Fever protective kits in the Niger Delta region at a whopping N903, 000,000 (Nine Hundred and Three Million Naira) paid to the company’s First Bank account with number 2014316595.

As though enforcing a code laid down by his predecessors, it was gathered that the professorially corrupt Professor, awarded another contract for the supply of 30,000 cholera vaccine to the same company at a jaw-dropping sum of N204, 000,000 (Two Hundred and Four Million Naira).

Seeing that there is no mechanism for checks and balances within the Commission, further findings showed that in the same month, Prof Pondei awarded another contract with reference number TSA/PROJ/20/10/0008 for the supply of 100 Lassa Fever kits in the Niger Delta to Crème Ltd at a whopping N47,894,000 (Four Seven Million Eight Hundred and Ninety-Four Thousand Naira).

An insider source revealed that besides the fact that the company is not technically capable and licensed to execute the contracts, the Commission’s records show that the supply of the Lassa fever kits and cholera vaccines awarded to the company have been fully supplied and received. However, no records of the hospitals and Medical Centres which received them across the oil-producing region exist in the Commission’s records.

A cursory look at the company which received over N1, 154,894,000 (One Billion, One Hundred and Fifty-Four Million Eight Hundred and Ninety-Four Thousand Naira) via a search on the Corporate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) website showed that the company registered as Crèmes Hair World Ltd with RC number 1586180 has its address as No. 29 Isiokpo Street, D’Line, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The company, however, is said to be a hair salon which specializes in making hair for women and occasionally sells light bulbs.

When contacted by our newsroom for his response, the Managing Director of the NDDC Prof. Daniel Pondei simply replied: “Sorry, check the dates, I was not in the NDDC then”.

Calls and SMS to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Sen. Godswill Akpabio also proved abortive as at press time.

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