Wednesday, August 12, 2020

‘Pondei, others charge 30% before contractors are paid’

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Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei

– Abuja

The Senate has revealed that the new head of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of ​​the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei and other members of the Committee now collect between 20% and 30% of the sums contractual before Contractors are paid. .

This is contained in the report of Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, APC, Ekiti North led the Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of alleged Financial Recklessness for the sum of N40 billion in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, by the IMC .

The Committee’s report also indicated that the statement by the IMC and the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, that the Commission’s headquarters had been 95 percent completed is false.

The Senate Committee in the report said these were revealed by the Chairman of the Contractors Association of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Joe Adia, in a written presentation.

The report said in part: “that the NDDC Provisional Management Committee (IMC) claim to pay with less than N50 Million is totally false since there are more than 500 transformer installations and payments of less than N4.5 million that do not They have been done for over eight years is false.

“That the new head of IMC-Prof Pondei and other IMC members are now raising 20% ​​-30% of the contract amounts before the Contractors are paid.”

According to Adia in her presentation, the Commission’s former interim managing director, Ms. Gbene Joi Nunieh had prevented all contractors from accessing the Commission until the completion of the Forensic Audit and this made it difficult for contractors to request payment for projects. they executed. .

The report also stated that “the contractors paid are those who had access to the BMI and who they knew, and that the actual contractors who did their work judiciously were not paid.”

In another development, the Committee received written information from a Civil Society Organization, Law for the Positive Transformation Initiative, that an Engineering Company received the IMC consulting contract on the awareness campaign on the prevention of spread of the Coronavirus in the NDDC States that, he said, violated the Public Procurement Law.

According to the report, the IMC’s claim to award the COVID-19 intervention contract after President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval was not true, adding that “the IMC had awarded the contracts prior to presidential approval, making a total contempt of descending procedures since the amount of the contract is above the threshold of the Board.

That the presidential approval for the acquisition of the emergency contract COVID-19 was granted on May 30, 2020, while the contract was granted by the IMC long before the approval.

“That the majority of contract approvals were done in a grim manner and that some of the beneficiary companies obtained a mobilization of 15% or more instantly after the approval of their contracts in less than 24 hours.”

Also in its written submission, the Center for Social Justice told the Senate Committee that the NDDC had never published a budget proposal in hard copy or electronic copy to make it available to the public, as well as its budget implementation report. , either quarterly, half yearly or yearly and is made available to Nigerians.

Recall that the Senate, on July 23, considered that Senator Adetunmbi led the Ad-hoc Committee of Investigation of the alleged Financial Recklessness, where he accused himself as an institution for not carrying out an effective oversight function of the NDDC IMC activities that led to Rot and the high level of corruption in the interventionist agency.

The Senate had also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently fire the Interim Management Committee (IMC) chaired by Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for alleged financial recklessness and constituting a new board for the NDDC.

Recall that the Senate on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 launched an investigation into the alleged financial recklessness in the amount of N40 billion by the Provisional Management Committee, IMC of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Accordingly, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, created a six-member ad-hoc committee to carry out a holistic investigation on all issues related, inter alia, to the alleged application and misappropriation of the sum of N4OBillion by the Commission.

The Committee, which received four weeks to report in Plenary, was also required to carry out a holistic investigation of all commission acquisitions and financial transactions in this fiscal year (2020) and any other matter not in accordance with the provision. of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000 or any other existing law.

The Ad-hoc Committee that had Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ekiti North as President, had Senators Jika Dauda Haliru, APC Bauchi Central; Mohammed Tanko Almakura, APC Nasarawa South; Abdulfatai Buhari; APC Oyo North; Chukwuka Utazi, PDP, Enugu North, Ibrahim Hadeija, APC Jigawa North East and Degi – Eremienyo Biobarakuma Wangaha, APC Bayelsa East.

The Senate resolutions were the aftermath of a motion entitled “Urgent Need to Investigate Alleged Financial Recklessness at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)” and sponsored by Senator Thompson George Sekibo, PDP Rivers East.

Introducing the motion, Senator Sekibo alleged that the Commission’s reports have indicated the state of financial recklessness that should be investigated and stopped.

He said that while President Muhamnadu Buhari established the IMC to coordinate the forensic audit of financial transactions conducted by the now-dissolved Board of the commission, the reports emanating from the IMC also indicate financial recklessness on his part, adding that apart from of financial recklessness, carried out by the WCC, is also being delivered to an alleged arbitrary looting of Commission management staff.

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