Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
About 9-months after a report of the governing board of the of the Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA) uncovered some irregular activities, the Vanguard for Transparency and Good Governance have called on the federal government to constitute a panel of inquiry to look into the allegations of N2.5 billion allegedly mismanage by the agency.
In a statement signed by the group Director General, Joseph Atainyang said that the investigation has become necessary following the grave allegations of misconduct, misappropriation and mismanagement by those overseeing the agency.
The group said the response of President Buhari to the allegations has the prospect of determining the future of the anti-corruption campaign in the country.
‘’As has clearly emerged today, all known and unknown means are contrived in the agency to beat due process, by-pass regulating Laws and side-step Checks and Balances.
‘’It is thus very sadly to this end therefore, that the humongous resources (which runs into billions of Naira) that have accrued to the agency overtime, has been entering personal pockets in the current leadership headed by Engr Bassey Nkposong and supervise by the Minister of water resources, Adamu Suleiman.
‘’We therefore called on the president to halt the activities of the Commission in its present manner, and the Presidency to assume direct supervision of the Commission and oversee effective reforms in it to make the Commission open, transparent and accountable.
‘’The Federal Government would be self-assessing to set up an independent panel to investigate the weighty corruption allegations hanging on the necks of the CRBDA MD and the Minister. Until then, the anti-Buhari conspirators in the CRBDA and the Water Resources Ministry will continue to feed fat on public funds, while plunging the nation into continuous payment of foreign debts’’, Atainyang stated.
The group added that all attempts made by the sacked chairman of the board to get the CRBDA give account fall on deaf ears as both engr Bassey Nkposong and the minister of water resources.
It could be recalled that a government audit report had revealed that the agency mismanaged over N2.5 billion via illegal disbursements, payments to incompetent contractors, abandoning critical projects and failing to get value for cash disbursed.
According to the audit report from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, the CRBDA mismanaged the sum between 2008 to 2015 according to the between 2008 to 2015.
Analysis of the report had revealed that the agency frivolously spent public funds on poorly executed projects while leaving others to lie in ruins in flagrant abuse of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
According to the report, the transfer of project funds to the said company, which was not named, without any contract agreement for a job to be carried out appears to be a diversion of public funds.
More so, the task of supervising the agency’s projects lie with a relevant department designated and trained for such a task.
The auditor general demanded that the managing director justifies the transfer of project funds or recovers the sum of N10.8 million.
Also, a report of the governing board of the Cross River Basin Development Authority alleged that about 75 people were recruited in the work force of the agency without following due process.
Daily Times gathered that the report revealed that no formal communication was made to the board members by management with regards to the recruitment t exercise.
This it added that the development contravened the existing legal and regulatory requirements as contained in the CRBDA Act and public service rules.
It further recommended that all contracts awarded between 2018 and 2019 that the board did not give approval be terminated with immediate effect.