The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) paid private security consultants N698million for a regional security surveillance contract with no evidence that the service was delivered, Senate Public Accounts Committee has said.
The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), relied on a special period check of the commission from 2013-2018 by the Office of Auditor-General for the Federation.
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The panel currently investigating the spending of federal government agencies said the payment was made between January 2017 and June 2018 without services rendered.
It alleged that the contract for the security surveillance was not subjected to open competitive bidding in line with Public Procurement Act 2007 24 (1).
Auditor-General’s report said in part, “The audit team made relentless efforts to sight the contract files of the security consultants with the view to verifying the term of engagement and the NSCDC clearance but proved abortive, thus making it very difficult or if not impossible to verify this claim as many of the purported private security consultants are not security outfits.
“Audit inspection at the Niger Delta states’ offices and subsequent visitations to the project site showed that security personnel were not on site, and for those few that were on the site, only Setraco Nig. Ltd had soldiers on the ground without the presence of the security personnel as claimed.
“Therefore, these are viewed as payments for services not executed contrary to Financial Regulations 708 and 3104.”