Akpabio exposes National Assembly members that got contracts from NDDC

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has exposed members of the National Assembly, who allegedly got over-bloated and unexecuted contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The revelations were contained in the letter by the Minister sent to the National Assembly and released to the public on Sunday night.

The National Youth Council of Nigeria which presented the document to the media in Abuja on Sunday, expressed disappointment that the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, refused to disclose the list of federal lawmakers who benefitted from the contracts awarded by the (NDDC).

According to the document, Akpabio listed Nwaoboshi’s name against 53 projects which included, Emergency Repairs of Asue Street, Owa Phase 2, Emergency Repairs of ldumuogbe Road via Ojemaye, Emergency Repairs of Otolokpo College Road, Otololkpo, and Emergency Repairs of Police lshu Ani Ukwu Road, Issele Uku.

“They also included Emergency Repairs of old Sapele Agbor Road, Obiaruku, Emergency Repairs of Ehwerhe Obada Road Agbarho Road, Emergency Repairs of Hon. Ifeanyi Eboigbe Street Boji Boji Owa/Goodwill Street, Owa Alero, and Emergency Repairs of Ahiama Okwu to Obuocha Okwu among others.

“However, it is pertinent to point out that the Clerk of the National Assembly forwarded a letter Ref. NASS/CNA/115/VOL.38/1175, dated 20th March, 2020, without attaching the budget details indicating that the 2020 budget of the NDDC passed into Law was being fonlvarded (copy of the letter is attached as Annexure ‘A’). This anomaly was brought to the attention of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee investigating a purported financial recklessness by the management of the commission in July 2020, though the first outcry was on allegation of missing N40bn which was totally untrue;

“It has always been known that the two chairmen of the committees on NDDC in both chambers yearly exhibit unusual influence to the exclusion of committee members and even the management of the NDDC in appropriating funds to details embellished in the budget after passage of line items at the plenaries. In the 2019 budget, the Executive Director Projects forwarded to me the attached list of 19 Nos. old contracts amounting to almost N9bn after tax, that the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on NDDC, Honourable Tunji-Ojo, insisted the IMC of NDDC must pay before 2019 budget details could be released to the commission (see Annexure ‘A1’).

“To show you some typical examples, herewith attached are documents showing nature of contracts amount of such contracts (in some cases), date of awards and beneficiaries some were awarded to the two chairmen of both committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively, serving at the period of the awards (Annexures ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’). However, due to the 48 hours notice, the forensic auditors could not sift through the thousands of files in their possession to provide more.

“The above explanation would have been made if the investigating committee did not shut me out from responding to the abuses on me by the lady representative called Boma.

“May I assure Mr Speaker that as a former Minority Leader of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I shall forever promote the ideals of the. National Assembly as an institution. Hence. I would not make the attached documents public, since I obtained the documents from the lead forensic auditors in confidence (find attached Annexures ‘E’ and ‘F’ being my request to the lead forensic auditors and their response).

“Permit me to explain that any reference to 50 per cent or 60 per cent during the investigative hearing was in answer to a question by an honourable member of the committee as to whether or not, a medical doctor could act as Executive Director Projects within the confines of the NDDC Act 2000. I answered in the affirmative, pointing out that the greatest project in the world today is COVlD-19 pandemic, which is medical in nature. Furthermore, I am made to understand that 50 to 60 per cent of NDDC yearly budgets are medical in nature. Therefore, it is fitting for a medical doctor to act as Executive Director Projects in these trying times.

“Please accept, sir, the assurances of my esteemed regards and do pass my explanation to my colleagues in the 9th Assembly who probably misunderstood my assertion.”

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