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Reps seek answers on N61.4bn NDDC abandoned projects, invite EFCC

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House of Reps

The Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday said it would invite the members of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate some former Managing Directors of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

It said the House had already summoned former directors who include; Timi Alaibe, Nsima Ekere, and other officials, including Nelson Brambaifa, and Emmanuel Agwariavwodo.

The former Directors who were expected to honour the call on Friday, would proffer explanations over N61.4bn abandoned projects.

It was gathered that the former directors’ invitation came after the Green Chamber had grilled officials of the Commission.

It was also learnt that officials grilled by the lawmakers were the acting Managing Director, NDDC, Akwagaga Enyina; Director of Finance and Supply, Linus Ogbalubi; and Director of Project Monitoring and Supervision, Ukeme Nkamare.

The House of Representatives asked them to provide documents on overpayment of contractors and contracts awarded without execution.

The ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate projects abandoned by the NDDC raised a series of questions, bordering on how several contracts were allegedly awarded and paid for by the commission outside the approved budget of the commission.

The chairman of the committee, Nicholas Ossai, read out parts of a report by the Office of the Auditor-General on NDDC’s activities between 2013 and 2018.

He quoted the report as saying that, “Considering the enormous amount of money paid to the contractors as mobilisation fees without any value derived thereby, it can be affirmed that the commission lacked effective control in the process of contract award and payment.”

Ossai said, the key issue raised by the auditors, which the NDDC had yet to respond to, was that the commission should recover the sum of N61.4bn that the contractors had collected.

He cited a case of how contracts for the emergency repairs of 250 roads were awarded earlier in the year without the approval of the Bureau of Public Procurement and out of NDDC’s approved budget.

The committee also asked how a contractor was paid over 50 per cent of a contract sum of over N1bn, with only 11 per cent of the job done, and the contract was cancelled and re-awarded for over N10bn.

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Ossai asked if the NDDC could remember awarding a contract to a company for the Ogborodo shore protection.

“The figure here is that the contract, with a sum of N1.042bn, was awarded to this engineering company and examination of the NDDC contract payment status from the Finance and Account Department revealed that the contractor had been paid 50 per cent – N521.3m – for job that was done less than 11 per cent,” he stated.

Based on the inability of the NDDC officials to answer several questions posed to them, the committee invited all the former managing directors of the commission, including Timi Alaibe, Nsima Ekere, Nelson Brambaifa, Emmanuel Agwariavwodo, to appear before them on Friday over N61.4bn abandoned projects.

It also stated that the EFCC would be invited to investigate the matter.

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