The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Friday, August 7, requested a refund of about N2.5 billion; from the Chairman of Senate Committee on NDDC, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
According to the NDDC, Nwaoboshi was given the money for the supply of plastic chairs and tables; for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta.
This demand was issued in a letter dated July 5 and addressed to the Senator by its Director of Legal Services, Peter Claver Okoro, who stated that the contract was fully paid for without the commission receiving the items.
Nwaoboshi had been purportedly named by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio,as one of the lawmakers who benefited from contracts awarded by the NDDC.
He was said to received 53 contracts from the Commission, a claim Nwaoboshi has however denied.
Okoro said instead of delivering the items as agreed; the desks and chairs were taken to a warehouse along Benin expressway.
The letter also reads in part: “Sometime in 2017, the Commission awarded contracts to certain companies for the production of desks and chairs; for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region under the 201 6 budget of the Commission.
“The list of the companies is attached as Annexure ‘A’. The total value of the said contracts was ₦2.552.305,600.00,” Okoro said.
“The contracts were in furtherance of the commission’s education sector mandate as a catalyst for the improvement of classroom and learning conditions in the Niger Delta region.”
“Instead of supplying the chairs and desks to the Commission’s warehouse in Port Harcourt or to any of the NDDC offices in the nine Niger Delta states, the items were supplied to a warehouse described as Akuede Akwis located at Benin Expressway, Okpanam, before Wichetech Aluminum Company.
“The 2019 budget of the commission also contains the following heads: a. Provisions and supply of Plastic Chairs and Desks for Primary and Secondary Schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-15) for (Serial No. 21). b. Provisions and supply of Plastic Chairs and Desks for Primary and Secondary Schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-20) for (Serial No. 33). c. Production and distribution of Desks and Benches in selected schools in the Niger Delta Region for (Serial No. 396).
“Despite having fully paid for the 2017 contracts for the production of chairs and desks; the items have not been supplied to the commission. The resultant effect is that the commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs.”
“I have been further directed to demand that you refund the sum of ₦2,552,305,600.00 to the commission; being the contract sums paid in respect of the said contracts within 14 days of this letter.”