The minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio has reportedly linked three former governors to some contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
According to The Sun newspaper, Akpabio had in communique alleged that two governors from Delta state executed some contracts for the commission.
The minister was also reported by the newspaper to have named a former governor of Abia state as a beneficiary of NDDC contracts.
The newspaper stated that names mentioned by Akpabio in the communique include:
1. Emmanuel Uduaghan (former governor of Delta state)
2. James Ibori (former governor of Delta state)
3. Senator Uzor Kalu (former governor of Abia state)
4. Senator Ifeanyi Ararume
However, in a swift reaction Uzor Kalu, a former governor of Abia state who currently serves as the chief whip of the Senate said the NDDC has not paid the contractors who built the roads he facilitated.
Kalu in a statement signed by Barrister Emeka Nwala of office of the Senate chief whip said he believes the issues at stake in the NDDC have to do with missing funds and not work done.
The chief whip explained that the road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions he (Kalu) facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before he became a senator.
He said his name is mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to the NDDC in 2016 requesting and pleading with the body to rescue roads in Abia.
“The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself. Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention,” Kalu said.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said the reported cases of corruption in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) occurred because his appointees abused the trust placed in them.
The Nigerian president made the statement on Friday, July 31, after observing the Eid-el-Kabir prayers with his family members in Abuja.
“There has been abuse of trust by people trusted by the previous administration and this administration,” he said.
The president stated that all past and present cases of corruption will be fully investigated. He complained about the NDDC’s wastage of the resources earmarked for improving the lives of the people in the Niger Delta region.
Buhari said despite the 13% derivation enjoyed by states in the Niger Delta region, corruption has hampered the development of the region.