The Senate has accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, of failure to execute projects worth N500million awarded to him by the Niger Delta Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2017.
The Nation reports a battle of wits had been ranging between the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC and the National Assembly over moves by the later to probe alleged misappropriation of N40billion within three months by the IMC.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP – Delta North), who disclosed this in documents he made available to reporters in Abuja, alleged that in 2017 alone, Akpabio was awarded contracts worth N500million by the NDDC after he asked for same but failed to execute them.
According to him: “In a letter dated August 7, 2017, addressed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on NIger Delta, Akpabio requested that five projects worth N500million be added for him in the NDDC’s budget.
“Akpabio as Minority Leader of the Senate then, used his office to include projects not budgeted for in the Appropriation Bill.”
The projects as stated in the letter allegedly written by Akpabio include:
fencing the Federal Polytechnic Ukana, Akwa Ibom North West Senitorial District at the cost of N200 million.
Fencing of Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene (Old site) Akwa North West Senitorial District at the cost of N100 million.
Entrepreneurship training on the use of modern farming implements for Youths in Akwa Ibom North West Senitorial District at the cost of N75 million.
Entrepreneurship training on the use of modern farming implement for Women in Akwa Ibom North West Senitorial District at the cost of N75 million.
Renovation of one hostel facility at the University of Nsukka, Nsukka Campus at the cost of N50 million.
“Findings show that while there was no physical evidence of implentation of these projects, the contracts were awarded and fully paid for.
“Such practices have turned the region to sites of abandoned projects,” Nwaoboshi said.
Akpabio had in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Anietie Ekong, denied ever writing any letter to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs to include projects in the budget of the NDDC.
According to Ekong, the “truth is that the letters he was brandishing were addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly at the time to make recommendations for zonal intervention projects as requested by the leadership.
“On what basis would Senator Akpabio have written to Senator Nwaboshi to be awarded NDDC contract? Is he the Managing Director of the NDDC? Senator Akpabio never requested for NDDC contracts from Senator Peter Nwaboshi as he is claiming. He’s lying and no one should take him serious.