Tag Archives: NDDC

How we can reform EFCC, NDDC, end Boko Haram – Patrick Eholor

President of One Love Foundation and Observer-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Patrick Eholor has enumerated ways through which the myriad of problems facing the country can be tackled, including those of corruption at the EFCC and NDDC, as well as end Boko Haram and banditry challenges in the country:

EFCC in a letter to a civil society group said that it is currently investigating corruption charges against Minister Akpabio and Pondei. Sir, do you think the EFCC will be able to do this?

I think the EFCC is an institution that’s to be compared with the FBI or KGB. The KGB or the FBI or Interpol or other serious agencies all over the world recognize that no man is above the law. The EFCC in Nigeria is a joke like every other institution is a joke without exception.

For example the chairman of the EFCC for four years was acting as the chairman without confirmation with outright disrespect to the members of the Senate including Mr speaker. This is very unfortunate unlike the international security agencies who will take investigation seriously, who will even investigate one of their own or even Mr President because they know no one is above the law. But in Nigeria, they use it to fight Yahoo boys and political opponents.

Security agencies in Nigeria including the police needs reform, we have become a laughing stock.

Recently, the President was urged to create an NDDC board to check Akpabio’s excesses. Sir, do you think this will bring to an end the issue of corruption emanating from there?

The president is part of the problem, he is surrounded by so many people that Nigerians can’t trust including Mr Akpabio. Nigerians will not forget in a hurry when they said that when Akpabio leaves PDP for APC his sins will be forgiven. The people of Akwa Ibom won’t forget in a hurry how he embezzled the common patrimony of that state and yet the chieftains of APC said his sins has been forgiven because he crossed over to APC.

Until the ordinary people seek collectively for capital punishment or life imprisonment and reform the judiciary system, we will never start to have hope that things are about to change for real.

Bandits on Tuesday kidnapped the children of a former commissioner for local government, Alhaji Dankande Bello in Zamfara State. Boko Haram also attacked communities in Borno, razing down a hospital and communication mast. In the light of this, how do you think these bandits and Boko Haram may be stopped?

What happened to Alhaji Dankande in Zamfara state is no longer news. There have been too many innocent lives that were lost in that area. There are so many children that has been displaced, there are so many women that have been raped in that area, many Nigerians have joined my voice to echo my message that the Nigerian service chiefs must resign immediately and apologize to Nigerians.

Mr president is a good man. He meant well for Nigerians, he was our messenger and we voted for him for a change. We the people are saying that if we can’t trust a messenger we can’t trust his message.

CORRUPTION: Edo Indigenes to investigate Edo NDDC, institute litigation if…

The leadership of Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA), has warned that they will institute litigation against the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Edo State branch if found complicit in the corruption galore going on in the agency.

Edo Indigenous Movement Leader and President of EPIA, Chief Dr Bishop J.O.Enoyiogiere Edokpolo gave this warning in Benin City, Edo State capital while speaking on the gravity of the NDDC scandal.

He said that the country should be embarrassed that the issue of corruption seem unending as different ministries, agencies and even national assemblies seep with the odious stink of corruption.

“I am not surprised but is obviously angry that at this stage of our national life, we are still battling with this thing called corruption. Unfortunately, its now at a level where it looks impossible to eliminate, because those who are supposed to enforce its elimination are all into the game.

“But we at EIM and EPIA do not believe in the power of corruption over our people. This is because of the strong cultural value behind every Edo indigene. We want to however warn that, as Niger Deltans, and naturally, benefactors of the NDDC projects and plans, we will not fold our hands and watch a few individuals corner or pocket wealth meant for the people.

“We warn Edo NDDC that we are embarking on a fact-finding mission, and woe betide if the agency is found wanting. Edo Indigenes will fight corruption at the level of the NDDC with all that we have got. We will not sit back and watch one man or a group of people squander our commonwealth, or pocket what is the right of our people. Let no man think he can do that here in Edo State.

“We all must play our different roles to ensure that we eliminate corruption in this country”, Edokpolo stated.

Reps give Akpabio 48 hours to publish names of lawmakers taking contracts from NDDC

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has directed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to publish the names of lawmakers taking contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) within 48 hours or risks the full wrath of the House.

The Speaker directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to send a communication to the minister today. The directive followed the adoption of a point of privilege.

He also declared that the Committee on NDDC can summon the ‘slumped’ Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Keme Pondei if it wishes so.

“I am giving the Minister 24-48 hours, to publish the names, the contracts, the companies, date, amount and the projects. I am directing the clerk to do so.

Failing which, this house will bring the full wrath of the house on him. It is important that we set this record straight. The Minister owes it to himself, to the committee, to people of Niger Delta, and the country to publish it. I will reserve my judgement. The minister came there to play games, but we do not play games here.”

We’ve recovered over N3. 7bn from NDDC contractors, directors, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja said law enforcement agencies have recovered over N3.7billion as well as various assets worth billions of Naira from contractors and former directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The President disclosed this at the inauguration of NDDC Advisory Committee, comprising the 9 Governors of the Niger Delta Region and the Ministers of Niger Delta Affairs and Environment.

Specifically, President Buhari said: ‘‘To date, the EFCC and other agencies of Government have recovered over N3.7billion in cash as well as various assets worth billions of Naira from some contractors and former Directors of the Commission.

‘‘Furthermore, I am told that Government agencies have placed liens on over N6 billion of assets which are being investigated.’’

The President told the committee that these abuses of the past clearly show the need for strict and diligent oversight, going forward.

He, therefore, charged them to discharge the new assignment diligently and effectively, working closely with the relevant ministries, adding that he looked forward to seeing positive changes in the affairs of the Commission as well as on the ground in the Niger Delta region.

President Buhari recalled that in 2016, his administration launched the “New Vision for the Niger Delta (NEVIND)”, aimed at bringing sustainable peace, security, infrastructure and human capital development to the region.

He said the medium to achieve this noble objective was through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

The President, however, expressed regret that in the past these institutions were unable to deliver their mandates due to mismanagement.

‘‘As a result, the people of the Niger Delta were left with abandoned infrastructural projects and substandard social programmes which were designed to improve their living conditions.

‘‘It is to reverse this trend that I approved, in February 2020, the constitution of a 10-Man Presidential Monitoring Committee (PMC) as provided for in Section 21 of the NDDC Establishment Act.’’

He noted that the PMC, which will be chaired by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and its members drawn from various MDAs, will focus on monitoring the operations and activities of the commission, and will be reporting to him.

In the same vein, the President said the inauguration of the NDDC Advisory Committee is in line with the provisions of Section 11 (I) of the NDDC Establishment Act, explaining that the Committee is charged with the responsibility of advising the Board and monitoring its activities.

Justifying the decision to inaugurate the Committee ahead of the reconstitution of the NDDC Board, President Buhari said:

‘‘This is to enable us develop insights into the affairs of the Commission which will properly guide the Board when reconstituted once the Forensic Audit exercise on the Commission is concluded.

‘‘You may recall that the Federal Executive Council, on 5th of February, 2020 approved the appointment of the Lead Forensic Auditors. I am told they are concluding their pre-engagement activities and should be ready to commence work soon’’.

Speaking on behalf of the members of the Advisory Committee, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State thanked the President for inaugurating the Committee and granting the request of the governors, from the region, for a forensic audit of the NDDC.

The Governor expressed the hope that the result from the forensic audit would help streamline activities of the NDDC with a view to putting it on course to deliver on its mandate to the people.

Underscoring the roles of the Advisory Committee, the Delta State Governor noted that for sustainable development of the region, the NDDC must perform its duties in close collaboration with the States to avoid duplication of projects.

‘‘We do not want to criticise what has happened in the NDDC for quite some time, but the fact is that the cooperation between the states and the NDDC has not been strengthened overtime and we have various cases of duplication of projects that are not properly planned.

‘‘But I believe that with the inauguration of this body we will be able to sit down, meet together, work in collaboration and supportively to bring greater developments to our people,’’ he said.

NDDC: Forum urges site visits to verify contractors’ claims

The Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum (ACIF), has called on the management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to visit sites of acclaimed projects to verify contractors’ claims.

The Chairman of the anti-graft forum, Mr Prince Kpokpogri, gave the advice in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday.

Kpokpogri also advised the commission led by Dr Joi Nunie, against paying contractors for abandoned, non-executed and shoddily completed projects in the region.

“While we call for the authentication of all the documents submitted by contractors and consultants, we also want the newly inaugurated NDDC committees to visit various sites of acclaimed projects to verify contractors’ claims.

“Considering the trillions of Naira pumped into the Niger Delta region, it is disheartening that the developmental pace of the region is insignificant,” Kpokpogri said.

He said that he expected due diligence from the committee in order to ensure thorough verification and inspection of all awarded projects in the Niger Delta region.

“We express concern over the findings of the verification exercise instituted as a prelude to the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, where it was discovered that some award letters were found to be fake.

“Some of the companies were not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), while some firms were registered after they had been given the contracts,” he said.

Kpokpogri also urged the NDDC management to engage Civil Society Organisations and other relevant anti-corruption agencies in the fight which is aimed at liberating and repositioning the region for the desired development.

“Unions of Community Development Committees in the Niger Delta should rise to focus and monitor these projects.

“The NDDC has become a conduit pipe for contractors and cabals,” he alleged.

“Stakeholders in the Niger Delta region must stand to emulate good practices. We must frown at duplication of projects,” Kpokpogri said.

Vanguard

NDDC: How indigenous contractors are ripping off Abia

It is no longer news that the newly appointed Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Dr Joi Nuneih, recently visited Abia State and handed a dossier of NDDC projects to the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who was visibly alarmed to see the number of projects and their different statuses with a good number of them marked as either “completed”, has reached certain levels of completion, or “ongoing” even when the reverse is the case for most of them.

To ascertain the reality of things on ground with a view to recommending necessary action against any failing contractor, the Governor swiftly set up a committee to verify the true and current statuses of these projects. The committee chaired by Bishop Sunday Onuoha also has Elder Richard Nwala as Secretary, Engr Uzo Nwankwo, Mr Gabriel Aguwa Paul and Chief Jude Ndukwe as members.

Some of the highlights of their findings so far include projects marked on NDDC list as completed but no sign that any work was done on such sites. The contractors simply “chopped’ the money and zoomed off, or so it seems, leaving the benefitting communities in particular and the state in general in a state of near-perpetual underdevelopment. More worrisome is the fact that most of the contractors handling these projects as awarded by NDDC are actually indigenes of the localities affected greatly by the non performance of the cotractors.

For example, the contractor awarded the construction of Avo Road in Afaraukwu, Umuahia North LGA, did absolutely nothing on the road even though it is marked on NDDC list as having been 57% completed and “ongoing” despite the fact that there is no iota of sign of the presence of a contractor or work going on, is an indigene of the same community, Afaraukwu. A sad twist to it all is that the man died recently and was buried on the 13th of December, 2019. A foremost leader in the community had been mounting pressure on Abia State government to help them work on the road for the purpose of the demised contractor’s burial, the same road he was awarded to construct but did nothing and went ahead to register it as 57% completed and “ongoing”.

That is just one example of how indigenous contractors are ripping our state off through the NDDC. Several others abound. Findings from Bende, which will be highlighted in subsequent part of this series will numb readers. Even ancestors are being accused for the massive NDDC project fraud in a particular community in Bende LGA.

We trust the committee to continue to do its job excellently while NDDC management and government acts decisively on their findings after they must have been submitted.

LIST OF SOME NDDC ROAD PROJECTS IN ABIA STATE
(MOSTLY THOSE AWARDED FROM 2015 TO DATE)

Description, Contractor, Location, LGA, Date of Award, Contract Sum.

1. Construction of Umuaro – Ntigha, Ekwereazu, ABGLO International Ltd., Ekwereazu, Isialangwa North, 20th September 2019. ₦199,825,000.00

2. Construction of Ahịa Ụkwụ, Olokoro Okwu Road, Olokoro, Umuahia South.. CISTA MYKE Nig. Ltd.. 4th Feb. 2015. ₦199,500,000.00

3. Construction of Umuodeke – Uzomkpuri – Rail way road, Asa South. Ụmụaka Ukwa West.. ESTUARY INTEGRATED Service. Feb. 2015. ₦94,537,775.00

4. Construction of Ikeala-Igbeala Okpulo, Uzuaku, Ukwa West. IDEMKO CONSULT Ltd. Feb. 2015. ₦243,394,967.00

5. Construction of Ubani Ibeku Road, Umuahia.. IJE & EBUBE Nig. Ltd., 4th Feb. 2015. ₦143,406,000.00

6. Construction of Ukwunwangwu Nkwochara – Amadi Ogwahia road, Isuikwuato.. JAM SERVICES Co. Ltd., 4th Feb. 2015. ₦244,500,000.00

7. Construction of Uzoiny Omeokwe road, Umuariam Ndume, Umuahia.. JEJAHMICS Int’l. Ltd., 4th Feb. 2015. ₦149,350,000.00

8. Construction of Onwuka Nails Road, Aba.. KENSTHER GLOBAL Services Ltd., 4th Feb. 2015. ₦149,950,500.00
9. Construction of Umuomankwo Ụzọ Ụkọ Road. Oborhia Asa South.. KETAN INVESTMENT Nig. Ltd., January 2015. ₦232,644,605.00

10. Construction of Umuokwom Ohie Road. Umuahia South.. KRC KRAMCO Const. Co. Ltd., 4th Feb. 2015. ₦249,500,000.00

11. Construction of Ngwaiyekwe Owo Umuadienwe road.. LEMANTIC & CO. Const. Nig. Ltd., Feb. 2015. ₦429,803,809.50

12. Construction of Umuachalaba Ekwuru road. Ukwa West.. LUCHIMS Const. Co. Ltd. Feb. 2015. ₦257,599,550.00

13. Construction of Amuzi Umueleke road. Egwu Eleke Okaiuga Umuahia. MEDAK DEV. INVESTMENTS Ltd. 4th Feb. 2015 ₦189,286,575.00

14. Construction of Nkata-Alaike Amaogwugwu Umuagu Ring Road.. MUGRACE Nig. Ltd. 4th Feb. 2015. ₦138,089,900.00

15. Construction of Central School road to Ikea Akami road, Uzuaku, Ukwa West.. NGAMEC Nig. Ltd., Feb. 2015. ₦224,831,233.75

16. Construction of Crystal Park Road Aba / Owerri Road. Aba. 18th Dec. 2014. ₦188,124,091.00

17. Construction of Umuchichi Seven Up Road.. PREHORCH OIL & GAS. Nig. Ltd. Feb. 2015. ₦138,431,158.00

18. Construction of Watchtower road. Bakassi Shoe Ind. Market, Osisioma.. SHAWLYCNH Ltd. 4th Feb. 2015. ₦149,500,000.00

19. Construction of Umuagalaba Umuisika Ogboube Ụzọ Obuzo road, Owaza, Ukwa. VINOT INTEGRETED Services Ltd. 4th Feb. 2015. ₦249,500,000.00

20. Construction of Umuagalaba Umuodikagu Umualagha road Owaza, Ukwa West.. WISFREMARY GLOBAL Resources Ltd. Feb. 2015. ₦400.330.200.00

21. Construction of Okwe Oborhia Umuemenike road. Phase ll. Ikwuano, Umuahia.. YODEL GLOBAL Resources Ltd. Feb. 2015. ₦390,031,100.00

22. Construction of Egbelu – Mbutu – Amapu Link road, Isiala Ngwa.. UHLENTO Nig. Ltd. September. 2017. ₦249,720,000.00

23. Construction of 2km Ehume-Umuanya road in Umuokpara, Umuahia South.. LIVING GATE Ltd. September 2017. ₦249,950,000.00

24. Construction of Umuosoro-Nnono+Amaoba Road, Ikwuano.. BEZEL Nig. Ltd. September 2017. ₦248,650,000.00

25. Construction of Owo-Ahafor-Umunkiri-Nenu-Mgbokonta road.. MULTINET Group Ltd. September 2017. ₦199,780,000.00

26. Construction of Umuoriehi-Umuawa road Umuahia North.. ACME Heights Ltd. Sept. 2017. ₦199,810,000.00

27. Construction of Umuabuo road with a Spur at UzoMmiri – Azulo, Akwete, Ukwa East. CELPHINE GLOBAL Resources Ltd. September 2017. ₦239,470,000.00

28. Construction of 2km Nkata Akpata Okpuala road Umuahia North. BESSEMER Const. Co. Ltd. September 2017. ₦239,470,000.00

29. Erosion Control works at Onuaku Amonye road Network, Uturu, Isuikwuato. CLINTON Enterprises Nig. Ltd. September 2017 ₦199,210,000.00
30. Construction of Obiga – Ụmụaka road. Ukwa West. GEO-CHINDUS Nig. Ltd. September 2017. ₦149,745,000.00

31. Construction of 1.2km Umu Ugba Ụmụ – Kanu- Ụmụ – Oke – Ụmụ kiriko Road. Umuahia South.. A.I. DILLION (WA) Co. Ltd. September 2017. ₦223,980,000.00

32. Construction of Ukwuwangwu-Nkwoachara-Amadi Ogwahia road, Isuikwuato.. JAM SERVICES CO. Ltd. 4th September 2015. ₦244,500,000.00

33. Construction of Umunnemeze -Larinze Avenue Nkata Okpuala road. Umuahia North. CHOMEN Nig. Ltd. 16th October 2017. ₦244,250,700.00

34. Construction of Apunali Ntiguzor Amaeri road, Obingwa. SACON ENG. Ltd. Feb. 2015. ₦244,394,000.00

35. Construction of Umule Obiohuru Isigwurugwu – Umuocha road. KONTO GLOBAL Services. 20th September 2017. ₦239,950,000.00

36. Construction of Okpuala Ngwa Nbawsi road.5km Phase 1. Isialangwa. A & J CONSTRUCTION Co. Ltd. 16th Oct. 2017 ₦149,780,000.00

37. Construction of Camp Acho. Road Azummiri, Ndoki, Ukwa East. FX MERCHANTILE VENTURES Ltd. 16th Oct. 2017. ₦198,750,000.00

38. Construction of Umuituru-Umuadienwe road Ukwa west. SALOB SERVICES Ltd. 20th Sept. 2017. ₦149,650,000.00

39. Erosion Control works Section 1. Bende road & Section 2. Ariam -Ikot Ekpene road. GINSCON Nig. Ltd. 26th April. 2012. ₦6,428,565,200,00

40. Remedy Failed & Unmotorable Sections of Amaeke Ring road, Abiriba. Ohafia. SHARLOTTE CONST. Ltd. 11th April 2018. ₦647,806,950.00

41. Remedy failed & Unmotorable Section of Ahiama Okwu to Obuohia Okwu Internal road, Umuahia South EARTH CRUST GEO SCIENCE NIG. Ltd. 28th May 2018. ₦240,683,685.38

42. Remedy failed & Un Repairs of failed Section of Amaku to Umuomianta Mbawsi.Isialangwa (Lot 2). SOLBERG Nig. Ltd. 8th May 2018. ₦729,941,782.50

43. Repairs of unmotorable section of Ụtụtụ Road, Arochukwu. SWIBER AFRICA Ltd. 4th Jun.. 2018 ₦507,400,731.88

44. Emergency Repairs of failed section of Okoko Item-Okagwo Item Road. Bende. SWIBER AFRICA Ltd. 11th April 2018. ₦864,180,800.15

45. Remedy failed & Un Repairs of failed Section of Amaku to Umuomianta Mbawsi. (Lot 1). SOLBERG Nig. Ltd. 8th May 2018. ₦784,012,129.69

46. Repairs of failed Section of …Isialangwa (not clear)

47. Remedy failed sections of Umuba/Umuekwule Town, Umuokpara, Umuahia South. BASE ENGR. & MITCHEL Ltd.18th May 2018. ₦441,428,657.25

48. Remedy failed section of Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Item road (Lot 3: Umuahia Uzuakoli section) Umuahia / Bende/ Isuikwuato. SWIBER AFRICA Ltd. 26th April 2017. ₦518,040,862,60

49. Remedy failed section of Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Item road (Lot 1: Umuahia Uzuakoli section) Umuahia / Bende/ Isuikwuato. SLOK ENG. & CONSTR. Ltd. 26th April 2017. ₦441,920,686.17

50. Remedy failed section of Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Item road (Lot 3: Umuahia Uzuakoli section) Umuahia / Bende/ Isuikwuato. SLOK CONSTRUCTION Ltd

51. Remedy failed Section of NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Igbere to 14 Brigade, Ohafia. Bende/Ohafia. SWIBER AFRICA Ltd. 25th September 2017. ₦714,832,965.00

52. Remedy failed section of Arochukwu Internal Roads, Arochukwu LGA. SOLBERG Nig. Ltd. 24th Nov. 2017. ₦614,044,669.88

53. Remedy failed section of Ahia Afọr Amua Junction By Isi Ekata, Isialangwa Road, Isialangwa South. SOLBERG Nig. Ltd. 24th Nov. 2017. ₦670,681,551.75

54. Remedy failed section of Arochukwu Atani-Ugwunagbo Roads. CRISM CONSTR. Ltd. 16th Oct. 2017. ₦536,505,745.13

55. Repairs of Ikpokwu-Umukalu-Umuokwor, Ukwa West. GODON DEVELOPMENT Ltd. 10th August 2016. ₦328,699,218.75

56. Supervision of Construction of Umuchichi 7up Road. Aba. PLETHORA VENTURES. 09th June 2015. ₦6,300,000.00

57. Construction of Umunnemeze-Larinze Avenue Nkata Okpuala Road, Umuahia North. CHOMEN Nig. Ltd. 16th Oct. 2017. ₦244,250,700.00

58. Construction of Umuchichi Seven Up Road Aba. PREHORCH OIL & GAS Ltd. 4th Feb. 2015. ₦138,431,158.00

59. Emergency Repairs of Amaba Umuasaa Road, Isuikwuato A-NET CONTRACTORS Ltd. 10th August 2016. ₦103,937,632.05

60. Emergency Repairs of Umuorie Ezebudele road Ukwa West. LAVENT Nig. Ltd.10th August. 2016. ₦110,022,937.50

61. Remedy failed section of KM 0+000 – KM 3-300 Akirika – Azunmini road. Linking Aba section 1. Ukwa East. JORAGA CONSTRUCTION Ltd. 29th Nov. 2016. ₦670,350,961.88

62. Remedy failed section of Umuagungolori farm Settlement road, Afugiri, Umuahia North. ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNICAL SERVICES Ltd. 29th November 2016. ₦292,922,232.75

63. Remedy failed sections of Ikot Ekpene Road, Ikwuano. ASPHALT UNITY CONSTRUCTION Co. 29th Nov. 2016….(Not Clear..) ₦659,027,754.88

64. Remedial works on failed section of Ozu Item road to Uzoakoli (Lot 2) Bende. SLOK ENGR. & CONSTRUCTION Ltd. 29th November 2016. ₦570,025,102.50.

65. Remedial works on failed section of Ozu Item road to Uzoakoli (Lot 1) Bende. SLOK ENGR. & CONSTRUCTION Ltd. 29th November 2016. ₦467,465,561.06

66. Remedial works on failed section of Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road, Ikwuano. ASPHALT UNITY CONSTRUCTION Ltd. 29th Nov. 2017. ₦659,027,754.79

67. Remedial work on sections of 5KM World Bank Housing Internal Roads, Umuahia Township. A.T. SERVICES Ltd. 29th Nov. 2016. ₦549,588,453.73

68. Remedy failed section of Azikiwe road – Aba Township road. ROUDO Nig. Ltd. 29th Nov. 2016. ₦706,457,180.63

69. CONSTRUCTION OF OBOHIA – OHANKU – ABA ROAD with Spur to Ohambele- Obeaku (46.50km) Ukwa East. HERBERTECH NIG. Ltd. 5th November 09. ₦2,080,262,907.19

*In part 2 we will share additional projects list including the over N350m purportedly spent on Enyimba Stadium score board.

AKPABIO : Niger Delta Group cry out, says it’s been 100 days of confusion

The Niger Delta People’s Liberation Movement, has said the Niger Delta region has seen so much of confusion since the assumption in office of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Reacting to a call by six civil society organisations for the withdrawal of the presidential nominees into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the group said it was clear that the Minister has other motives other than forensic audit in mind for wanting the Interim Management Committee, IMC, to “assume much more permanent status than the legally constituted board.”

It cited the case of the IMC’s plan to carry out projects as a confirmation of the hidden motive of the Minister.

In a statement signed by Oghenekaro Joseph and Belema Diri, the group said the Minister’s hidden motives are clearly seen by discerning Niger Deltans.

“We are joining the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and his media team to celebrate 100 days of confusion in the region. The region has seen more confusion in the 100 days than in all the years the ministry and the NDDC have been in existence,” the statement said.

The statement further said: “The Minister has hidden motives behind the IMC. If it was just for forensic audit, the IMC would not be having an Executive Director, Project who is even a Medical Doctor with the intent to award contracts or an Executive Director, Finance and Administration with plans to carry out financial transactions. It could just have been a committee of technocrats, not politicians, with no office, but with unfettered access to the commission. The mere fact that Minister Akpabio is carrying out as if he is the Managing Director of NDDC leaves much to be desired.

He was appointed Minister of the Niger Delta and not that of NDDC. He should leave NDDC for the constituted board to run it.”

The group said there has always been audits in the country, noting that the minister is making too much noise about an exercise that should ordinarily be a routine.

“If he doesn’t know, he should ask the Auditor General of the federation. Does a Minister or Permanent Secretary leave office for the auditors to be seen as fair. Do they appoint IMC for Ministries, Departments and Agencies just because they are to be audited? How will the new board interfere in the work of the forensic auditors and how will the IMC help the auditors?”

The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to save the region more embarrassment by reposting the Minister, saying the Minister is not the best person to carry out any audit related duties.

“He was one of the Governors of the region in the 16 years of the PDP sleaze and has his hands filled from the public till. He cannot say he had no hand in the NDDC. Our investigation shows that apart from nominating people to serve on the board of the commission at various times, including nominating his brother, one Jeremiah Akpabio to serve as Special Assistant to a Managing Director, the minister has been beneficiary of several NDDC contracts through fronts and cannot go to the audit with the stained hands.”

The group said the idea behind the audit is perfect and commended President Buhari for it, but said “Senator Akpabio, however, is not the right man to supervise the audit. For someone who left several uncompleted projects, most of which he had collected all the monies meant for the projects to sound like a saint now is a ploy to use the NDDC to continue the life of sleaze which he is known for.”

The group also queried the credentials of the members of the IMC, noting that the Minister has clearly downgraded standards in the commission by appointing a political medical doctor as EDP.

NDDC IN ABIA: THE SAD DETAILS OF A SORRY Tale, by Chief Jude Chijioke Ndukwe

In continuation of our assignment today, the Abia State NDDC Project Verification Committee visited some sites. While we have lamented the situation in other places we visited earlier, today’s experience was so audaciously alarming that we were rooted to a spot for some time, not knowing how or where to move to next.

What pained us most was that this experience has shown us that WE are our own problems and not the federal or state government.

In one of the LGs we visited today, almost all the projects had been marked completed, on paper, including erosion control sites, road and water projects, but our findings show that the contractors have either never mobilised to site or they did but abandoned the project shortly after commencement. In fact, in a particular community, the contractor who is an indigene of the community had been doing “palliatives” on the roads awarded to him by NDDC but never erected any signpost to show that it was a full blown project, hence, his community had been hailing him for doing for them “what government could not do”, not knowing that the palliatives he was doing were supposed to be a full project awarded to him in hundreds of millions of naira. He had severally been hailed as the community’s “messiah” and his kindred recently rolled out their drums in solidarity and in glowing colours to celebrate his formal opening of a mansion he built right there in his community.

EXPOSED

This contractor, just like many others in the state that we have noticed, got exposed when the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, took the bull by the horn and constituted this Verification Committed after the visit of the Acting Managing Director of NDDC recently, and after findings, the people discovered that all the “projects” in their community for which the contractor had been claiming personal credit were actually NDDC projects executed shoddily while many others were abandoned just shortly after take off.

At one of the locations, the contractor quickly remobilized to site after the visit of the NDDC Acting MD about two weeks ago, thereby preempting the Governor’s actions against defaulters.

Our experience with our indigenous contractors was the same as the one we encountered during one of our verification tours last week.

Indeed, the ant that is eating the vegetable dry lives right there in the plant.

One can only imagine how the entire landscape of Abia would have changed more greatly if the entire 679 NDDC projects in the State were executed by the contractors, some of who are our own people even though few of them have actually not been paid for take off by NDDC.

My people, we are our own problem, not FG, not State government; but we will not relent in what we are doing. This rot must be halted, and everyone must support our Governor in his determination to halt the rot. This is not about any parochial considerations, it is about our State!

NDDC leadership: Akpabio lied – Niger Delta Stakeholders

The minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio has been accused of “telling serial lies in his grand design to appropriate and control the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).” This is the position of the Niger Delta Stakeholders, led by Chief Demiebi Jackson.

A statement credited to the minister, portions of which were reported in The Nation Newspaper of Tuesday, December 10, 2019 and Niger Delta Today, an online newspaper, where he said it was Bayelsa State’s turn to produce the MD of NDDC has been criticised by the Niger Delta Stakeholders who say “the minister is sowing seeds of discord to advance his agenda following opposition to the illegal interim management committee he set up for the commission.”

Akpabio stated in the newspaper reports as follows: “We have not had two full years of Managing Director for Bayelsa. We have had Engr. Godwin Omene staying as MD of NDDC for almost four full years. We have had Hon Emmanuel Aguariavwodo from Delta serving as MD for almost three years. So, it is not the turn of Delta.”

But fact-check shows that Akpabio lied. Public records from the NDDC show that after Delta State produced the MD for a total of five years, Bayelsa State held the MD position thereafter. From the records, Engr Godwin Omene was MD at inception from 2001 to 2003 when he resigned. Then, Timi Alaibe from Bayelsa State who was the ED Finance and Admin, stepped in as Acting MD until Emmanuel Aguariavwodo was appointed to complete Delta State’s term. Aguariavwodo was MD from 2003-2006. Timi Alaibe again stepped in as Acting MD. Alaibe was subsequently confirmed as MD in 2006 and held the position until 2009, representing Bayelsa State. Thereafter, Rivers State produced the MD with Chibuzor Ugoha from 2009 to 2011 and Chris Oboh from 2011 to 2013. Akwa Ibom was next with Dan Abia from 2013 to 2015 and Nsima Ekere from 2016 to 2018. It is now the turn of Delta State, following the rotational policy for the MD position among the four major oil producing states. According to Chief Demiebi “Where then is the truth in Akpabio’s claim that Bayelsa State has not had ‘two full years as MD”?

“Not only is the minister’s claim that Bayelsa State has not held the position for long untrue, the claim that Omene spent four years is also untrue, because Omene spent just two years, from 2001 to 2003. Agwariavwodo spent three years, from 2003 to 2006, bringing the total for Delta State to about five years.

The group also took up the statement credited to the minister that Delta state should take the chairmanship position rather than the MD position, saying that “since Delta State is entitled to both, it should be given both or be allowed to take the one of its choice. It is the prerogative of Delta State to decide. The minister should not try to make an issue out of this as a means to executing his personal agenda. Otherwise, how is it an issue that a state which is due to have both positions of Chairman and MD is being vilified for opting for the MD position. Indeed, Akpabio’s statement on the choice made by Delta State when he said that Delta State opted for the ‘bigger position’ contradicts his own statement that Delta State should not produce the MD based on tenure. It has exposed the lies in his many excuses since the new NDDC board was duly confirmed by the Senate and confirms his inordinate interest in the NDDC, contrary to the claims he made in the newspapers.”

The MD position has been rotated round all the four major oil producing states and it is now Delta State’s turn to produce the MD. Nothing should be done to shortchange Delta State”.

NASS Should Not Accept Budget Approval Request From NDDC Interim Committee, Says IYC

The National President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Barrister Eric Omare has urged the National Assembly to disregard any budget approval request from NDDC submitted by the Interim Management Committee inaugurated by Minister of Niger Delta, Chief Godswill Akpabio.

In a press statement issued on Sunday, November 24, 2019, Barrister Omare said that under Section 18 of the NDDC Act of 2000 only the substantive Board of the NDDC can submit a budget to the National Assembly for consideration.

Section 18 of the NDDC Establishment Act, Number 6 of 2000, as amended, states that, “the Board shall not later than 30th September in each year, submit to the National Assembly, through the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces an estimate of the expenditure and income of the Commission during the next succeeding year for approval.”

Barrister Omare said the National Assembly has a duty to defend the law. He maintained that the problem with NDDC since its inception is with non- adherence to the law establishing the Commission.

According to him, “Instead of strictly complying with the law establishing NDDC, emphasis is placed on political patronage instead of using the NDDC as a platform to develop the Niger Delta region.”

The IYC President regretted that despite the Senate confirmation of a substantive Board for NDDC, the government has not deemed it fit to inaugurate the Board. In his words: “Given the myriad of problems in the region, we had looked forward to the inauguration of the Board, knowing that it will bring a level of sanity and stability to the Commission but unfortunately and to our surprise, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio set up an illegal Interim Management Committee that is not contemplated by the NDDC Act because under the Act there is no room for an interim management committee in the first place.”

He noted further that “there is absolutely no reason in the present circumstance for an interim management committee because President Buhari has already exercised his powers under Section 2 of the NDDC Act to nominate members of the substantive board to the national assembly and the Senate has confirmed members of the substantive board.”

Barrister Omare stated that what ought to happen is for the substantive board to take over the leadership of the commission immediately but regretted that two weeks after the clearance “we still have a contraption called an interim management committee presiding over the NDDC in flagrant violation of the law establishing the NDDC.”