Against the backdrop that the Director of Finance of the NDDC died of food poisoning, preliminary reports from samples collected by Rivers State University Teaching Hospital before the deceased was transferred to a private hospital in Uyo where he gave up the ghost revealed that he died of COVID-19 related illness. According to RSUTH showed that Mr Ibanga Bassey Etang died of COVID-19 and not food poisoning as previously reported.
But the major debate becomes will the NDDC probe go on? What evidence could Senate probe achieve now that the Director of Finance who was in-charge with the books is no more? Put in a succint form, what will happen to the NDDC 40B Probe as Director of Finance in charge of the financing records and major signatory of NDDC account is not evidential avaialble for questioning to determine any potential fraud in NDDC?
It is clear, that the senate would continue with the probe at least to determine the authenticity of any financial mismanagement in the NDDC. Also, the death of Ibanga Bassey Etang might not give the auditors enough auspices to perform. Mores so, the probe may not be thorough basically because records would be distorted. The other management IMC staff of the NDDC would try and exonerate themselves.
Given the foregoing, it is therefore imperative that senators approves the 2020 budget of the NDDC so that the interventionist agency would carry-out developmental projects in the region which comprises of eight states namely viz core states: Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom, and peripheral states viz Ondo, Edo, Abia, and IMO states.
The withholding of NDDC funds no less implies that the region would be denied of meaningful projects despite been the region that lays the golden egg.