Cairo Ojougboh, executive director of projects at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), says there will be chaos if the full list of those who were awarded contracts by the commission is released.
Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, had named some beneficiaries after the house of representatives threatened to sue him.
While appearing before a house of representatives panel probing the alleged mismanagement of N81.5 billion by the interim management committee (IMC) of the commission, Akpabio had said federal lawmakers were the biggest beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the commission.
Peter Nwaoboshi, senate committee chairman on NDDC; Matthew Urhoghide, senate committee chairman on public accounts, and James Manager, senator representing Delta south, were some of the beneficiaries listed by the minister.
Speaking with Vanguard, Ojougboh said Nwaoboshi, and Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, chairman of the house committee on NDDC, and the rest of the national assembly “are culpable” in the sleaze contracts.
The director said he only wants to make sure that all the monies that have been spent are accounted for.
“The national assembly is culpable. At the end of the forensic audit, you will see members of the national assembly,” Ojougboh said.
“A senator came and said that in the list of 2016 they brought, that he had only six contracts, I said no, that he had more. What he didn’t know is that we did not release the list for 2017 and the one for 2019. If we release it this country will break.
“Oh, because of the people looting, the calibre, the names and people looting the NDDC. And who engineers it? The chairmen of the NDDC in the senate and house of representatives in the national assembly.”
The director described the N51 million monthly imprest for Kemebradikumo Pondei, acting managing director of the commission, as “security vote”.
“My MD feeds 100 policemen every day and in Port Harcourt as an executive of NDDC, you need security more than anything, till tomorrow, you know of it. When they are sending these policemen, the instruction is to feed them, cater for them, that is what is in the letter the police hierarchy sends,” he said.
“So people are talking about 51 million of imprest for the MD, it is a security vote, it’s not for his personal pocket, the money does not go to the MD’s account.
“Myself, N18 million, it does not go to my account, it goes for security and other expenses and it is retired, there is no fraud in it.”
Ojougboh said the sum of N3.14 billion was expended as COVID-19 relief for staff adding that although it was not budgeted for, it was classified as emergency.
“They are talking about COVID-19 payment, the federal government is given every citizen N30,000 each, do you know how much the federal government has spent? The CBN and many other corporations have been giving COVID-19 allowances, which are within their purview, just like NDDC did,” he said.
“In the national assembly, each of the senators got N20 million, while the house of representatives members got N15 million for COVID-19 from the national assembly.”