N65 Billion Contracts: Senate Summons NDDC Boss

The Senate has summoned Enyia Akwagaga, acting Managing Director of
the Niger Delta Development Commission,  to appear before it on
Tuesday over the award of N65 billion contracts.

Matthew Urhoghide, Chairman Senate Committee on Public Accounts,
summoned Akwagaga over his absence at the hearing of the committee on
the contract.

The contracts were awarded between 2017 and this year for clearing
water hyacinth and desilting rivers in the region.

Urhoghide said the Committee was aware that N2.5 billion was allocated
for the contract, and that N65 billion has allegedly been spent so

He said that if the information was proven, it would mean that the
budget for the contract was exceeded.

Urhoghide said: “We want to ascertain if due processes were followed
in the award of these contracts, particularly the information that we
have at our disposal that they exceeded budget limits.

“What we know is that N2.5 billion was budgeted for the desilting and
clearing of water hyacinths. We heard that the Commission has spent
over N 65billion. This committee is charged with the responsibility of
ensuring that there are transparency, accountability, and economy,
that is, there is value for money.

“Once we can ascertain that the Commission has done it well, of
course, they are not going to have any problem. If not, we will
recommend appropriate sanctions.”

The Committee also mandated the NDDC boss to forward all relevant
information about the contracts to it on or before next Monday.

The required information includes the project title, contractors’
names and addresses, contract location, contract sum, date of award,
the amount paid to date and the actual date of completion.

The committee also demanded the original copy of all the newspaper
advertisements for the contract, technical bids for the job by each of
the bidders, financial bids submitted by each of the bidders,
deduction of taxes, and evidence of remittances.

NDDC Director of Special Duties, Nosakhare Agbongiasede, said Akwagaga
could not honour the invitation because she was indisposed.

“She is sorry for her inability to come,” Agbongiasede said.