Senate Committee on Public Account has commenced an investigation into the inflation of N2.5 billion contract to N65 billion by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).
The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), convened an open investigative hearing on Thursday.
Urhoghide said that the probe became necessary in order to ascertain if due processes were followed in the award of the contracts or no.
He said available information indicated that the agency exceeded budget limits, which constitute serious offence.
The representative of the Managing Director of NNDC, who is the Director on Special Duties, Nosakhare Agbongiaede, told the lawmakers that the Managing Director was indisposed.
He appealed to the Committee to fix the meeting for another day that is convenient to the lawmakers.
On non-submision of the relevant documents to the committee, Nosakhare said it was an oversight on the part of the commission, promising to provide all relevant documents to the committee on Monday.
In his response, the committee chairman, revealed that N2.5 billion was budgeted for desilting and clearing of water hyacinths.
“We are hearing that the Commission has spent N65 billion. So, we want to know if it is true. Is it an allegation or an assumption?
“We want to make sure that all mechanisms, all processes of doing government business, particularly when it comes to expenditure of public funds, are done transparently.
“This committee is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that there is transparency, accountability and economy that ensures that there is value for money.
“Once we are able to ascertain that the Commission has done it well, of course, they are not going to have any problem. If not, we will recommend appropriate sanctions”, he said.