NDDC Contract: Lawmakers Debunk Akpabio’s Allegation

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NDDC Contract: Lawmakers debunk Akpabio’s allegation
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Senators mentioned as beneficiaries of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts by Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, have denied the allegation and asked the minister to give account of N81.5 billion spent by the commission instead.

Speaking with reporters yesterday, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Chairman of Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs and his forerunner Senator James Manager, said that they were not awarded any contract by NDDC between 2017 and 2019 as alleged by Akpabio.

In his reaction, Nwaoboshi dared the minister to submit the list to anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies if he can prove that he was awarded 53 NDDC projects as alleged.

Nwaoboshi said, “The unsubstantiated allegation is in line with Mr. Akpabio’s well-known agenda to continuously blackmail me so as to keep diverting public attention away from the serious mismanagement of the NDDC by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) under his supervision and under the guise of a phantom forensic audit that has no operating timeline.”

He asked the minister and members of the IMC to account to Nigerians how they spent N81.5 billion within five months.

The IMC spending, Nwaoboshi said, included 12 questionable expenditures namely: “refreshment/logistic for project verification paid to IMC and staff in the sum of N58.5 million; expenses paid to IMC for 2019 and 2020 budget defence, respectively at the National Assembly totalling N370.1 million; out of which N l43 million is for 2020 budget that is yet to be defended or approved by the National Assembly; reckless expenses paid to IMC and staff to commission only one road, Ogbia-Nembe road for N50.5 million, an amount that is enough to construct a fresh one kilometre road; conflict resolution in Delta State in the sum of N148 million, when there was no conflict known to me or my other colleagues in the National Assembly representing Delta State that was resolved by NDDC; reckless payment of COVID-19 relief to IMC and staff in the sum of N1.5 billion with the IMC members getting N10 million each and expenses incurred by IMC during a courtesy visit to River State Governor in the sum of N41.9 million.”

He listed other IMC spending to include expenses incurred by IMC and staff in not-too-young-to-run programme for N46.6 million; expenses for sponsorship campaign against electoral violence paid to IMC and staff in the sum of N43 million; staff medical checkup in the sum of N4.9 billion; welfare package to Niger Delta youths for N270 million paid to IMC and staff.

He, however, noted that the youths have rebutted being given any welfare payment.

Nwaoboshi went on to list payment to Clear Point Consultancy on denial of media onslaught against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in the sum of N39.4 million, describing the payment as incredible and unbelievable expenditure that is currently fueling the media blitz and misinformation by Akpabio and the IMC using Nigerian’s taxpayers funds and payment of N51.8 million monthly allowances to the MD IMC and N18 million monthly for each member of the IMC.

Source: This Day

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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