Government

Contractors receive N70.5 Billion government funds without executing contracts

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The House of Representatives ad hoc committee on abandoned Projects in Niger Delta made a discovery that a total number of 1,723 contractors had collected a total of N70.495 billion without mobilising to site, Vanguard reports.

At the last sitting of the panel, the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) disclosed that NDDC squandered N64.4 billion as mobilization fee on abandoned projects in the Niger Delta region.

However, according to Vanguard’s gather on the report of AuGF submitted to the committee, a total nmber of 1,723 contractors never went to the site after collecting N70,495,993,761 billion.

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The report indicates that
“90 per cent of these contracts were awarded between 2011 and 2012. It needs to be strengthened that some of these contractors have three to four jobs with their mobilization payments without reporting to site”

It further stated that
“one can, therefore, imagine why the region is not developed when a developmental programme is being awarded as a contract to be completed within six months and the contractor would collect mobilization without reporting to site.

“The report above excluded those contractors that collected mobilization and reported to the site but with insignificant achievement before abandoning the projects. This equally excluded those in which the commission has declared their projects as stalled.

“It is a common practice for the commission’s contractors to collect mobilization and refuse to move to site. The blame for this should not only go to the contractors but equally to the management of NDDC, who awarded contracts that were not in existence, that is contracts without identification of the site, resulting to non-reporting to site by the contractor.

“Besides the above, it was also observed that about 50 per cent of the contractors who claimed they have executed their various contracts specifications and completed with supporting engineers valuation certificate were later found out by the team that some merely collected money for work not executed”

Details of the contracts show that in Abia state, out of N17.641bn contract sum, N2.027bn was paid for 32 projects, in Akwa Ibom, N4.229bn paid out of N31.681bn contract for 64 projects; in Bayelsa N4.970bn paid out of N27.647bn contract for 80 projects; in Cross River, N2.065bn paid out of N13.451bn for 29 projects, while Delta has 99 projects for which N7.836bn has been paid out of N31.765bn.

In Edo state, N2.065bn has been paid for 51 projects out of N13.927bn; in Imo, N1.859bn paid out for 33 projects out of N13.184bn while Ondo and Rivers have 50 and 106 projects for which N6.173bn and N13.146bn have been paid out of N29.977bn and N56.717bn contracts respectively.

The report said
“in the auditor’s opinion, this ugly trend will continue in the system in as much as the same class of people were recycling in the management and board of the commission”

Meanwhile, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele is to appear before the probe panel.

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