Former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said she played hardball with the power brokers in the region, and failed to give Christmas bonus that was desired by the leaders of the region.
Speaking during her meeting with the National Assembly panel, Nunieh said she refused to dance to the tunes of many people interested in looting the coffers of the region.
“When I was appointed, I went from office to office; I sat in their offices and I told them, ‘You people are responsible for what has gone wrong in the zone’,” she said.
“All the staff have in their wards or local government areas projects. If every staff of NDDC takes up a project in their local government area and ensures that they are well done, we will not have these issues.
“Thirdly, the IMC. For the first time in the history of NDDC, no palliatives were given. I did not give out Christmas palliatives. I was under pressure to bring N10bn – N1bn per state – but I refused. The youths were complaining that things were difficult and I said ‘the day I give you this money, you know I have started collecting your money.’
“I never gave any Christmas bonus or palliative during my time. For the first time in the history of NDDC, NDDC worked throughout December. There was no break except on public holidays.”
Nunieh alleged that Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs was influencing the forensic audit of the commission ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“He (Akpabio) said the first thing I would do is to write a letter to him and he gave me the draft, that I should put it on my letterhead. In that letter, I was supposed to write about most of the companies; [That] senator Nwaoboshi owned the 98 companies,” she said.
“I never ever told the world that senator Nwaboshi was the senator that was collecting the N1 billion.
“The issue of the N1 billion was different. I said ‘how can an individual be collecting N1 billion every month?’ The case of senator Nwaoboshi is the case of the 98 files which I was supposed to write about.
“What I met was not exactly what was going on. Akpabio insisted that he would supervise the forensic audit. I reminded him and showed him the letter that the president had written, that there is no way we could spend the money that was in our budget.”
“I want to tell the world that I never did any employment. I never gave out a single contract from NDDC,” she said.
“I am not corrupt. No contractor can sit anywhere and say they gave me N10. And I can say before the world that I’m the most unpopular MD ever that came to NDDC. The money of the people of Niger Delta is blood money, I refused to touch it.
“Even when my friends were contractors, even when they claimed that they were owed monies, my instruction was that everybody should finish their jobs. Everybody saw contractors going back to site when I was the MD.”