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Reps to Akpabio: You must publish list of lawmakers executing NDDC contracts

The House of Representatives has insisted that the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio must publish the list of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contractors, which constitute 60 percent of members of the National Assembly.
Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) made the demand in a press statement Tuesday, titled:”Sen. Akpabio’s letter to the speaker exonerates the 9th House but fails to meet the ultimatum, the minister is invited to publish the list as instructed ”
The statement reads in part: “Following a motion unanimously adopted by the House, an investigation was ordered into the activities and financial malfeasance of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and its Interim Management Committee (IMC) between the periods of January to May 2020.
“In a coordinated and calculated attempt to distract Nigerians from the on-going investigation, the minister of NDDC and the leadership of the IMC raised spurious allegations against members of the National Assembly.
“The minister claimed under oath that 60% of all the NDDC projects under investigation were awarded to members of the House between the months of January and May 2020.
“Following this disturbing allegation, the leadership of the 9th House issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the minister to publish a list of the legislators allegedly awarded 60% of the entire projects of NDDC between January and May 2020.
“Instead of publishing the list for the world to see in the interest of transparency, the minister in his usual diversionary tactics, chose to send an irrelevant 8-paragraph private letter to the Speaker regarding projects of 2018 which pre-date the 9th House of Representatives and had little to do with the bogus claims he made.
“The House therefore reiterates that the minister was given an ultimatum to publish names and not to write a personal letter to the speaker. The honourable minister is hereby cautioned to desist from spinning tales and is invited to go public as instructed.
“Nevertheless, it will interest Nigerians to know that paragraph 3 of the minister’s letter fully exonerated the 9th Assembly. Also, in paragraph 7, the minister completely withdrew his previous statement about 60% of the NDDC projects being awarded to members of the 9th Assembly.
“It is also instructive for Nigerians to note that the total number of projects in the 2019 NDDC budget was 5959 out of which 5416 projects were rolled over from 2018, which the 9th Assembly obviously had no influence or control over.
“Therefore, unable to prove his claims, the minister presented an ineffectual spreadsheet of only 266 projects out of which about 20 projects were attracted by past members of the National Assembly as constituency projects, not as contractors, but in furtherance of their representative mandate.
“The projects presented in the minister’s letter are not within the scope of the investigation and do nothing to address the leadership’s ultimatum for him to publish the list of names of the members who he claimed took 60% of NDDC projects from January to May 2020.”

 

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