Enugu APC urges Ugwuanyi to probe water fund
The Enugu State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to set machinery in motion to recover the funds meant to reticulate water in the state.
The party alleged that the funds were mismanaged by the immediate past administration and others in the state.
Reacting to the plan to summon a town hall meeting over the lingering acute shortage of water in Enugu Metropolis and environs, the party suggested that convoking a high powered panel of inquiry to ascertain the whereabouts of the billions of naira voted for Enugu Water scheme was more acceptable than convoking a town hall meeting.
In a statement yesterday, the State Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Kate Offor said the people of Enugu could only be convinced that the governor was desirous of addressing the water issue “should he begin an inquiry into the activities of his predecessors in the sector.”
She said: “Governor Ugwuanyi should as a matter of urgent state importance, convoke a high powered panel of inquiry to unravel those who siphoned the monies voted to provide water to Enugu Metropolis and other towns and go ahead to recover the looted water funds. Town Hall Meeting is only a talk shop, which is more or less a cover up.”
Asked which water fund she referred to, Offor recalled that there were two tranches of funds voted to provide sufficient water in Enugu State in the last two decades including the money voted by the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) under President Muhammadu Buhari and the 50 million dollars World Bank loan obtained by the immediate past administration of Governor Sullivan Chime.
“We want the panel of inquiry to tell the world how the money PTF voted for Enugu Water was spent and who derailed the plan? For the study showed that Enugu Metropolis will have more water than it requires, that storage will be the major headache,” Offor said.
Quoting a report credited to a top official of Enugu State government in a national daily, Offor explained: “The two water schemes in the State broke down at the same time and put us in trouble. We have the Ajalli Water Scheme built by Jim Nwobodo administration, which is about 34 years old now and Oji River Water Scheme commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“They use to break down one after the other, but this time, they broke down together. The thing is difficult. Now it has been repaired. Light coming there from the EEDC is low. It cannot pump the water.”
When asked why the Governor should probe a federal project, Offor said states and Federal Government are interdependent. She added that the current Minister of Water Resources was the head of Water Department of PTF, and some of those who derailed the PTF plan were still alive while their people participated in the award of the failed contract.
Offor said the second failed opportunity was the $50m World Bank Loan, a transaction, which took place under the watch of Ugwuanyi’s predecessor, Sullivan Chime, saying that the governor should re-open the investigation of the scam.
According to her, “A top official of the state government had already disputed the figure as not 50 million dollars but about 29 to 30 million dollars,” adding however that the investigation had become necessary following the claim that the incumbent administration did not see what the money was used for.
She admonished Governor Ugwuanyi to join President Buhari in the war against corruption, so as not only to recover billions looted by his predecessor, but to plug the leakages in the financial system, even as she made it clear that: “Town Hall Meeting is a bridge to nowhere.”
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