A member of the newly inaugurated 3-man Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) committee, Cairo Ojougboh has revealed how a sitting Senator singlehandedly got 300 contracts and executed none of them.
Cairo Ojougboh, the acting Executive Director of Projects made this known at a Press briefing which held in Abuja. He disclosed that 120 of the 300 contracts were fully paid for but “this Senator” is yet to begin work on any of them.
Recall that on October 17, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019
I have ordered a forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). With the amount of money the Federal Government has allocated to the NDDC, we‘d like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) October 17, 2019
Ojougboh who refused to disclose the name of the Senator said the Ongoing forensic audit would uncover how the Commission accrued a N3 trillion debt which could not be accounted for, because some workers are currently being owed 15 years salary.
Also, he mentioned how the unnamed Senator has been frustrating the efforts of the Interim Committee in order to stop the probe.
“Somebody who is particularly interested in a major contract of the NDDC, who is a member of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he alone has 300 jobs in the NDDC. Of the 300 contracts, 120 has been fully paid and he has not mobilized to site for these 120,” Ojougboh said.
“It is obvious that the reason he is behaving the way he is behaving is that he wants the system, the looting in the NDDC to continue, and this is what the Interim Management Committee will not support. It is as simple as that.
“The NDDC Interim Payment Certificates that are pending are worth over N3 trillion. That is what the NDDC owes these phantom contractors. It is these phantom contractors that are preaching and making noise to stop the probe. All they want is for the stealing to continue.
“Therefore, when given the opportunity that we have just been given, our job is to make sure that we avail the auditors all the necessary documents and information, all the necessary help they need because we are not protecting any interest but to help the auditors do their job as it is required.”
Ojougboh also went further to disclose how some workers were still being owed 15 years salary.
“All they want is to bring puppets to manage the forensic audit because they know that the members of the IMC will not compromise. If you look at the records at the NDDC, you will cry,” he said.
“Some genuine people that have done jobs for the board have not been paid for over 15 years and their families are suffering. Many of those who were paid are these phantom contractors.
There have been speculations about the identity of this “one senator” who most likely is also from the Niger Delta region. Some have opined that Senator James Manager representing Delta South and Senator Peter Nwaboshi representing Delta North both from the People’s Democratic Party could have had such influence from the region within the time in question.
James Manager was elected to the Senate on the People’s Democratic Party ticket for the Delta South Senatorial District in 2003. He was appointed to the Works committee, Niger Delta committee and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters committee.
Manager successfully ran for re-election as Delta South Senator on the PDP platform in the April 2011 elections and won. James Manager has been in the Senate since then.
In 2008, Peter Nwaboshi was appointed State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Delta State. He also served for a second term as State Chairman in 2012 and in 2014 before he resigned to run for the senate. Peter Nwaboshi was appointed Chairman Senate committee on Niger Delta in the 8th assembly.
What is more appalling is the inglorious silence of the youths and people of Niger Delta. Civil society organizations also seem to keep mute despite being very active when it comes to Federal Government perceived wrong policies.