The House of Representatives has reiterated its resolve to probe the alleged mismanagement of over 40 billion Naira by the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta development commission, NDDC.
Olubunmi Ojo, the Chairman House Committee on NDDC, disclosed this at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, while also denying an allegation that his committee, alongside that of the Senate benefited from a contract to the tune of about N3 trillion from the Commission.
Alongside members of his committee, Ojo, who claimed that he had received threats to their lives by militants maintained that no amount of blackmail will deter his committee from probing the NDDC.
It’s unfortunate that these allegations are coming. These allegations are forms of blackmail and it is surprising. I became Chairman of this Committee in September last year when we were inaugurated and between September and now, I can say that not a kobo of contract has been awarded as an emergency and so I don’t know how that assertion came about.
It is laughable because the IMC themselves came into place in September last year, a month after I became Chairman of the House Committee. I came into office and the IMC came into office in October and Dr. Cairo Ojuogbo himself said they have not awarded a single contract since they came on board.
So, how did the issue of the contract come about? Obviously, this is share blackmail and we expected this from the onset when the investigation process started. The bottom line is that we are not going to be deterred.
I can say it categorically that we are more determined to work for the people of the Niger Delta. I can say there is no one trillion, two trillion anywhere because it does not exist. Maybe it only exist in the figment of their own imagination.
He further stated:
In the first place, the National Assembly does not award contracts. So, I am surprised that anybody will award a job that is not in the budget. I have gone through the 2019 budget as approved and I can tell you that there is no provision for emergency training and so, I don’t know what he is talking about.
I have said it before and let me repeat it for emphasis sake that I don’t have a single contract in NDDC. It started with a 17 kilometre road which they could not substantiate and now, they have come up with another thing. We are only expecting more. I have never had any contract with NDDC, I am not a contractor with NDDC, I have never worked for NDDC and I have never been paid by NDDC for anything.
I am the chairman of this committee by the grace of God and I know the responsibilities on my shoulders. I know that the Niger Delta is looking up to us for succour, for intervention, for help and for a greater tomorrow. We will not mortgage of the Niger Delta people for sake of our today. That will not happen. I don’t have a contract, and I repeat, I dont have a contract. It is an indictment on their part if they claim that there was an award for none budgeted item. That is a very serious offence which the National Assembly must look into.