The Federal Executive Council has approved N722.3 million for eight field forensic auditors to audit the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The funds will come directly from the Presidency as the National Assembly is on break and the 2020 budget for the NDDC has not been passed.

The field auditors will also look into the 12,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta.

Senator Godwill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta, revealed this on Wednesday, 26th August, after the virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The NDDC has become a subject of controversy over allegations of corruption in the award of contracts and the non-payment scholarship funds for Nigerian scholars under the payroll of the commission.

Following this, the National Assembly invited Akpabio and the acting NDDC MD, Daniel Pondei to probe the activities of the agency.

While appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC in a public hearing on July 20, Akpabio accused the lawmakers of benefitting from most of the contracts awarded by the commission.

This was not well accepted as the House asked Akpabio to publish the names of the lawmakers benefiting from these contracts and Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila threatened a legal action should the Minister fail to name them.

In a statement issued on July 28, the spokesman for the House and Committee Chairman on Media Affairs and Publicity, Benjamin Kalu, said that the minister had alleged that 60 percent of all the NDDC projects were awarded to members of the lawmakers between the months of January and May 2020.

Kalu also explained that following the claim, the leadership of the 9th House issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Akpabio to publish a list of the lawmakers.

The House spokesman revealed that the lawmakers evaluated the minister’s letter and the directive to press charges against him have not been lifted.

Also, President Buhari reacted to the controversy trailing both the commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by saying some people trusted by his administration have abused the privilege.