₦2.2bn Contractors’ Fees: Senate Threatens To Arrest Akpabio, NDDC Boss
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, Effiong Akwa have been summoned by the Senate’s Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions over the non-payment of ₦2.2bn to contractors.
According to the committee, it is acting on petitions filed by Akom Survey Services Limited accusing the minister and the NDDC administrator of not paying ₦2.2bn contractual agreement for the survey carried out in nine states under the commission.
The Chairman of the committee, Ayo Akinyelure charged Akpabio and Akwa to appear before the panel unfailingly on April 12, 2022, by 2pm.
Akinyelure while addressing newsmen disclosed that the committee had written several letters to the minister and the NDDC boss but none of them have responded to the invitation.
He said, “It should not be business as usual. Akpabio and the NDDC Sole Administrator must appear before the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee, failure of which will lead to issuance of warrant of arrest on them.
“The committee wants to believe that as far as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs is concerned, breakdown in communication must have caused his non-appearance before the committee, because as a senator he should know the implication of that.
“This press briefing is being done to solve the perceived communication breakdown between the committee and his office. If our letters are not delivered to him, he will read and hear about the invitation in the media.”
Akinyelure explained that the petitioners, totalling seven different companies, lamented in their petitions that the non-payment for the services they rendered was pushing them into insolvency from unbearable interests on loans they secured from the banks.
The lawmaker said, “Aside from the N2.2bn contract yet to be paid to the seven companies by NDDC, there is an outstanding of N6.25bn contracts yet to be paid to affected companies and a N2.5bn job racketeering scandal.”