Akpabio reportedly links former Delta state governors, James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, to some NDDC projects
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has reportedly linked two former governors of Delta State, James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, to some of the projects that have been executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission, Punch reports.
Akpabio in a letter sent to the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, listed the former governors as some of the beneficiaries of the projects by the commission. Also on the list as a beneficiary of projects were the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, among others.
The letter which is titled ‘Some Niger Delta Development Commission Contracts Allegedly Given to Some Members of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives).’, was also copied to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice and was addressed to the Clerk to the House, Mr. Patrick Giwa, with Reference Number MNDA/HM/04/IV/158.
According to the letter, one of the projects linked to the convicted former governor of Delta state, James Ibori, was the emergency repairs of Onoghove community road from Ajanesan to Western Delta University at a cost of N485.7m.
The letter also stated that Uduaghan was linked to the emergency repairs of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt at a cost of N429m.
Five projects were linked to Senator Kalu who was simply identified in the document as OUK-Kalu (the project source). The emergency repairs on road projects linked to Kalu are in Abia State and the costs ranged from N517m to N560m. The details are Emergency repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road (N517.9m) and repairs of Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze (N560m). Some other projects linked to Kalu include Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road (N523.7m), Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road (508m), and the Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road at the cost of N523.4m.
The cost of the 12 projects linked to Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, located in Imo and Rivers states, were not indicated in the documents.
The NDDC document, however, listed some the projects to include, emergency repairs of Umuelemai-Aba branch road, Anara-Okwelle-Umuna Road, Okpara-Road junction-Ogili Community all in Imo State.
On Monday, July 20, Akpabio while testifying at the House of Representatives panel investigating allegations of financial recklessness at the NDDC, alleged that most of the contracts awarded in the Commission were to members of the National Assembly.
On Tuesday, July 21, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave the Minister 48 hours to release the names of the lawmakers in question or face punitive measures.
After the two-day ultimatum had expired, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, directed the clerk of the House to institute a lawsuit against Akpabio after he failed to release the names of the National Assemblies members that have been awarded contracts by NDDC. Akpabio in a letter that was later read on the floor of the House of Representatives by the Speaker, denied saying 60% of the contracts were awarded to lawmakers. He however penned down some names of some Nigerians who have been awarded contracts by the commission.
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.