Posted by News Express | 25 September 2014 | 3,395 times
Shocking revelations have trailed a probe into the contracts being handled by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, by a House of Representatives committee, which has uncovered 30 unregistered companies through which multi-billion naira worth of contracts have been executed.
The Chairman, House Committee on Niger Delta, Warman Ogoriba, cried out in Abuja during the investigative public hearing on the East-West road projects.
The list of the indicted companies, according to Ogoriba, would be released at the end of the five-day investigative public hearing.
The lawmaker said: “Those companies were not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). About two years ago, I did a verification of those companies and discovered that they were not registered.”
Ogoriba, lamenting the high level of corruption being perpetrated through the award of contracts by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, expressed disappointment that “no project has been inaugurated since the inception of the ministry.”
He said the ministry would get zero allocation in the 2015 Appropriation, following the inability of the contractors handling the Niger Delta road projects to show results.
Worried by the situation, the committee summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Steve Oru, over the shady transfer of road contracts awarded to Trata, but allegedly transferred to a third party construction company, Heartland.
Members of the committee, especially Abubakar Momoh, queried why a contractor under the ministry requested for N6 billion to rehabilitate an existing 17km road as well as additional money to pay compensation on same.
Another lawmaker, Ogbona Nwuke (APC-Rivers), who knows the terrain well, refuted the claim that the contractor was on site.
He said till last year, there was a dualisation job being handled by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from Iguta end of the road.
Nwuke said: “There seems to be two contractors going on the same road, and it’s like someone is doing the work, while another is collecting the money. There were some controversies on the road during the tenure of the last minister of Niger Delta Affairs,” he alleged.
•Text courtesy of The Nation. Photo shows Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Steve Oru.
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