A new report has revealed how the embattled Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission paid N570m to some staff members to undergo training programmes at the time Nigeria was on total lockdown following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the report of the Senate ad hoc committee set up to unravel the alleged financial recklessness perpetrated by the IMC between October 1999 and May 2020, it was showed that N143m was paid to individual members of staff on April 1, 2020 to attend a budget participatory conference.
Incidentally, according to the report obtained by PUNCH, “this period happens to be during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is obvious that the conference was not attended as the country was on absolute lockdown.”
The panel, therefore, recommended that the entire sum be refunded by the staff members concerned.
“This payment was made to five members of staff averaging almost N28m per person,” it stated.
The report also added that N171m was paid in cash to 300 drivers on February 3, 2020 to attend a driver training course, scheduled to take place when the nation was on lockdown.
The panel noted that the culture of cash payments to individual staff seems to be a standard practice at the NDDC.
“This custom is not only unethical, it lacks transparency and accountability. NDDC must do away with this practice as a way of improving its duty of stewardship,” the report stated.
It also added that the IMC paid N150m on April 3, 2020, to some NDDC union executives for an International Labour Organisation conference in Turin, Italy.
“Incidentally, this period also happens to be during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is obvious that the beneficiaries of these payments could not travel out of the country as a result of the COVID-19 travel restriction.
“Hence, this sum must be refunded by the union members concerned,” the report added.
The report also revealed the names of “delegates” who attended the graduation ceremony of NDDC scholars in the United Kingdom in June 2020.
It also stated that the total cost of the trip was N85.6m, paid to 14 staff members to travel to the United Kingdom.
The report stated, “The composition of the travellers includes the MD/CEO, Prof (Daniel) Pondei; the Executive Director, Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh; and another Director, Mr Luke lbanga.
“These payments demonstrate a form of internal control failure in the NDDC, especially with the management’s choice to subject such transactions as cash payments to individual staff members.”
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has formally handed over to the Nigeria Police the 3 suspects, Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, associated in the incident that led to the demise of late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.
Giving short highlights of the incident during the handover at the NAF Base Kaduna, the 453 Base Services Group Commander, Group Captain Hadi Ahmed, remembered how a KIA Serento SUV, with Registration Number AZ 478 MKA (Kaduna), driven by Mr Adejoh, with the 2 others as passengers, hit Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile on 14 July 2020, at about 4.30pm, when she was walking along Air Marshal Ibrahim Alfa Road in NAF Base Kaduna, leading to her ultimate death.
The year 2020 is definitely one we won’t forget very soon. It’s the year Covid-19 took away many loved ones. Lockdowns, Curfews and Isolations have been announced in countries worldwide, but one selfless daughter of mercy, Madam Jisola Benson, isn’t going to sit back while people suffer from hunger during these harsh times, especially knowing the pandemic has caused millions to lose their livelihoods, homes and loved ones .
Madam Jisola Benson decided to act fast, saying “this is a global fight and we all have to stick together. It will be heartless to do nothing”. Relief packages and food items were quickly shared across Lagos state Nigeria, with a standby health team to educate people in rural areas on the importance of social distancing, facial masks and sanitizers. And citing the US example where every citizen got a stimulus cheque,...
Seasoned broadcaster Emmanuella Pobeni Adepoju popularly known as Iya Jogboof Max FM is dead.
According to reports, the mother of four, is said to have died as a result of brief illness from Bronchitis and an enlarged heart.
In a statement by Andrew Hanlon, CEO of TVC Communications;
“The sad news of Emmanuella’s passing today has sent a shock wave of grief and sorrow throughout the TVC Communications, and MAX FM family.
Whilst we struggle to come to terms with her untimely passing, our hearts and minds are focussed solely on her beloved children and her immediate and extended family and friends. “
He stated that Emmanuella’s presence will be sorely missed as she has left a legacy of enormous talent and spirit from the almost 10 years she spent with the company....