Rumpus over alleged N164 billion spent by Okowa on roads
Lawmakers probe Asaba airport project
Trouble is brewing in Delta State following the N164 billion allegedly spent by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the last two years on roads’ repairs and reconstruction.
While the State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye had early this month disclosed that N164 billion was spent on roads across the three senatorial districts, a concerned group, which claimed to be “group for good governance” in the state headed by one Jeff Akpofore told reporters in Asaba that it had written to the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate funds expended on Asaba-International Airport allegedly running into N56 billion.
The group had in the same vein flayed Okowa’s alleged high handedness and outright “punishment” for the pensioners, primary school teachers and local government workers .
Although, over 162 roads was claimed to have been reconstructed, but the group alleged that the Okowa administration wasted and diverted funds running into billions of naira in the past two years, and called on the governor to be accountable to Deltans.
Meanwhile, the State House of Assembly has resolved to probe the multi billion-naira airport project.In a letter titled “Re:Rehabilitation of Runways and Taxiways Disengagement of Constructural Services”, from the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Peter Mrakpor and signed by Mr. Omamuzo Erebe, the government had said that it has accepted the offer by the contracting firm handling the Asaba Airport, ULO Consults, seeking disengagement from the N26 billion Asaba Airport project which was started under ex-Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2008.
Erebe wrote: “I am further directed to state that the reasons given in your afore said letter for the disengagement by ULO Consultants Limited from the entire works at Asaba Airport, including ongoing rehabilitation of the runway and taxiways to wit: unfavourable working conditions imposed by officials of the state government, Ministry of Works and a refusal to review the cost estimates for materials on the project are incorrect.”
It was alleged that inconsistent designs, atmospheric conditions and terrain among other issues as cause for the failure of the runway.
The Chairman House Committee on Works, Mr. Evans Ivwurie who announced the decision to investigate the project at the resumed sitting of the committee with officials of ULO Consults during the weekend said the exercise is for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The lawmaker adjourned the meeting to December 6, and directed that the requested documents by the committee from the key actors in the project, including the Ministry of Works, the contractor and consultant to the project be submitted in 16 copies to reach the secretariat of the committee before the adjourned date.
Other members of the committee, including Mr. Oboro Preyor, Emeke Nwaobi and Daniel Mayuku, also emphasised the need for Deltans to know that the issues are about Asaba airport project.
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