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House of Reps invites Alaibe, others over N61.4bn abandoned projects

By News desk

Former Managing Directors of Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe, Nsima Ekere, have been invited by House of Representatives over N61.4bn abandoned projects.

It was gathered that other officials invited to appear before the lawmakers on Friday includes Nelson Brambaifa, Emmanuel Agwariavwodo.

The invitation was made on Wednesday after the lower chamber had intensive questions session  with officials of the Commission.

The officials questioned 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 over 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.”

According to Ossai, 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.

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

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