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Edo, minister differ on water project


THE Edo State government Sunday faulted comments  by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources that the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) should be blamed for the abandoned Okpella water project just as the ministry in another instance claimed to have completed the project for N800 million with nothing on ground.
   A statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Prince Kassim Afegbua, Sunday accused the Minister, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, of distorting facts.  

   “For the records, General Buhari’s PTF wound up business 17 years ago. This response becomes very instructive to disabuse the minds of the people and put the records straight so that those who preside over our collective patrimony can be held accountable on issues of governance and public finance.
   “Distorting facts for the sake of politics and misleading members of the public to score cheap political points underscore one of the reasons why the PDP has led the country on the path of economic perfidy.”

    The statement said  “In a publication entitled: “Sure & Steady Publication: Progress Report of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration”,Volume One, it was copiously stated under the briefings of the Ministry of Water Resources (which has Mrs. Ochekpe’s picture generously displayed), that the Jonathan Administration did commence and complete the Okpella Water Scheme. The information is contained on page 127 of the said publication and the cost of N800m boldly stated.

   “The same information was contained in the 2013 Calendar published by the Federal Ministry of Information where it proudly listed the Okpella Water Scheme, among others, as the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Former Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku was also confronted by the Senate Committee on Information on the erroneous claim that the Okpella Water Scheme had been completed sometimes in February 2014.  
   “Provoked by this sheer falsehood, members of Okpella Community under the auspices of the Okpella Progressive Union, (O.P.U) Northern Congress, wrote a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), late November 2013 to investigate and bring to book the contractor who claimed to have executed the said project, aware that nothing has been done,” the statement read.

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