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Reps summon Brambaifa, Ekere, Alaibe, others over abandoned NDDC projects

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Timi Alaibe. Photo/icimigeria

The House of Representatives has summoned the immediate past chief executive of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Nelson Brambaifa.

Also to appear before the Ossai Nicholas Ossai-led ad hoc committee probing the abandonment of the interventionist agency’s projects from 2008 till date were Brambaifa’s predecessors, including Nsima Ekere and Timi Alaibe.

Others are Emmanuel Aguariavwodo and the executive directors of finance and projects.

Also, the panel yesterday directed NDDC’s Acting Managing Director, Dr. Akwagaga Lelegima Enyia, to come shed light on the issue, including an expenditure of over N80 billion on emergency projects without appropriation.

Assuring Nigerians that all involved in alleged misapplication and theft of funds belonging to the commission would be made to face the full wrath of the law, Ossai claimed that no fewer than 626 contractors collected over N61.4 billion without fulfilling their contractual obligations in the nine member-states, citing a report from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF).

Promising to compel the executive arm of government and oil and gas firms to defray their debts, the committee chair, however, accused the management of the NDDC of not doing enough to retrieve money from erring contractors.

Enyia, who blamed the under-funding of the organisation over the years for the delay in completion of projects, nonetheless denied knowledge of collections of 10 to 20 per cent kickbacks from consultants and contractors.

She made reference to the decisions by successive governing boards and executive management to pay for and fund new projects instead of settling existing debts for existing old projects which had interim payment certificates (IPCs) – the pending approvals by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) – for price reviews and variations as some of the reasons for the abandonment of NDDC projects.

The acting chief executive revealed that 9,820 projects were awarded, adding that 4,288 of them were completed, 1,796 yet to commence, 2,645 ongoing, 342 stalled, 30 canceled, 49 terminated and 660 re-awarded.

Of the N2,832,611,325,966 trillion budgeted within the period, she said the actual receipt was N1,848,774,602,103 trillion while outstanding funding gap/variance based on approved yearly budget was N983, 836,723,103; funding gap/variance on account of amount payable according to NDDC Act being N1,374,864,680,711.31, just as unremitted funds due NDDC through ecological fund stood at N60,213,707,329.72.

Enyia added that the amount owed by her agency was N276,157,678,574.41 billion.


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