Buhari gets fresh demand - NDDC probe
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to direct the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to step down.
The South-South Forum of United Stakeholders (SSFUS) made the call in a statement on Monday signed by the Publicity Secretary, Comrade Pere Ebebi.
They said Akpabio should not be in office at a time the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is ongoing.
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The probe also covers the alleged spending of N40billion within three months, by the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei led Interim Management Committee (IMC).
SSFUS accused the minister and NDDC of “exploiting” the COVID-19 pandemic.
They claimed that contracts for procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers, as well as sensitisation campaigns against the spread of coronavirus and other diseases in Niger Delta States, were “awarded at the cost of N5.4billion to Signoria Concept Services Limited”.
“In another contract with Reference Number NDDC/MD/HPU/20/4/EHSS/02 in the sum of N4.8billion to Osmoserve Global Limited, under the ‘Award of Contract for Emergency Supply and Delivery of Medical Equipment and Consumables to the NDDC’, the contractors were allegedly paid 55 percent of the contract sum upfront.”
The group said while the NDDC management claimed it had remitted N1.045billion to the States as part payment for the establishment of COVID-19 Isolation Centres in each of the 27 senatorial districts, no facility is in place.
They further lamented that N60billion has been allegedly expended as payments of clearing of water hyacinths since November 2016 till date.
But Akpabio, a Ex-governor of Akwa Ibom, has denied any wrongdoing.
He expressed confidence that the current probe will expose those who used their positions over the years to fleece the NDDC through fully-paid contracts that were never executed.
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