As forensic audit begins
By Chris Ochayi – Abuja
Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Dr. Godswill Obot Akpabio, has directed the immediate recall of all staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, sent on compulsory leave, in April 2020.
The Minister made this pronouncement while receiving the Interim Report of the Committee set up on Thursday, September 10, 2020, to look into some Prevailing Staff Matters in the Commission in his office in Abuja.
Recall that Sen. Akpabio who had expressed concerns about the agitation within the rank and files in the Commission had set up the Committee to look into circumstances that led to the compulsory leave of some management staff, promotion, appointment, and discipline exercise carried in this regard. The Committee was given three weeks to present its report on findings and recommendations.
The Committee, which was guided by the provisions of the Public Service Rules, Financial Regulations, the Act Setting up the NDDC, Condition of Service and other Extant Guidelines and Regulations guiding staff and related matters was to examine generally the circumstances militating against a healthy work atmosphere and other attendant issues at the Commission.
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The Chairman of the Committee, Mrs. Lauren Braide, noted that the Committee in carrying out its assignment on the compulsory leave matter, had meetings (Physical & Virtual), consultations with the Directors of Human Resource Management (HRM) in both the Ministry and NDDC, examined applicable relevant rules and regulations, guidelines, documents and files to guide it in establishing the correctness or otherwise of the processes leading to the compulsory leave.
The Committee after due consultations on the circumstance that led to the compulsory leave of some staff of the Commission found that the six months recommended by the Lead Forensic Auditors had lapsed and there was a need to preserve institutional memory for the benefit of the Commission and the Forensic Audit.
Therefore, the Committee recommended the immediate recall of all the affected staff sent on compulsory leave to allow for fair play, peace, Industrial Harmony in the NDDC, and to avail the Forensic Auditors institutional memory.
The Committee noted, however, that the recommendation is not prejudicial to any future findings in the course of its on-going assignment.