There’ll be Trouble If We Reveal People Who Got NDDC Contracts – Projects Director
The Director of Projects for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has insisted that there will be serious trouble if the agency reveals beneficiaries of its contracts.
He said the names mentioned by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio when he was threatened with a lawsuit were small compared to the main list of beneficiaries.
Lawmakers had threatened Godswill Akpabio to release names of contract beneficiaries after he accused members of the Senate and House of Representatives of being the greatest beneficiaries of contracts.
Akpabio had mentioned Peter Nwaoboshi, the Senate Committee Chairman on the NDDC, Mathew Urhoghide Senate Committee Chairman on public accounts and James Manager, representing Delta South in the Senate as contract beneficiaries.
Dr. Ojougboh accused the entire national assembly as being culpable in the contract scam going on at the NDDC during an interview with Vanguard.
The projects director said;
“The national assembly is culpable. At the end of the forensic audit, you will see members of the national assembly.”
“A senator came and said that in the list of 2016 they brought, that he had only six contracts, I said no, that he had more. What he didn’t know is that we did not release the list for 2017 and the one for 2019. If we release it this country will break.
“Oh, because of the people looting, the calibre, the names and people looting the NDDC. And who engineers it? The chairmen of the NDDC in the senate and house of representatives in the national assembly.”
Dr. Ojougho said further that the N51 million monthly imprest paid to the acting MD of the commission, Kemebradikumo Pondei was for security vote.
“My MD feeds 100 policemen every day and in Port Harcourt as an executive of NDDC, you need security more than anything, till tomorrow, you know of it. When they are sending these policemen, the instruction is to feed them, cater for them, that is what is in the letter the police hierarchy sends.”
“So people are talking about 51 million of imprest for the MD, it is a security vote, it’s not for his personal pocket, the money does not go to the MD’s account. Myself, N18 million, it does not go to my account, it goes for security and other expenses and it is retired, there is no fraud in it.”
The projects director explained further that N3.14 billion was spent as COVID-19 relief funds for staff, saying it was classified as an emergency spending. He said the NDDC was not the only agency who gave Covid relief to staff, citing CBN as an example.
The NDDC director also claimed that the Federal paid Nigerians N30,000 each as Covid relief package while each senator was paid N20 million each and the House of Reps members N15 million.
“They are talking about COVID-19 payment, the federal government is given every citizen N30,000 each, do you know how much the federal government has spent? The CBN and many other corporations have been giving COVID-19 allowances, which are within their purview, just like NDDC did.
“In the national assembly, each of the senators got N20 million, while the House of Representatives members got N15 million for COVID-19 from the national assembly.”