Reps summon Akpabio over N10bn NDDC contract

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The house of representatives has summoned Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) management over a N10 billion contract.

The lawmakers alleged that the contract was not approved by the national assembly.

They also accused the NDDC management of operating its 2018 account – which they described as an unconstitutional action/

The 2018 budget NDDC was passed by the house on May 16.

The resolution of the house followed a motion sponsored Benjamin Kalu, an All Progressives Congress (APC) from Abia state.

While moving the motion on Tuesday, Kalu said the commission according to section 80(3) and (4) of the constitution broke the law.

“As at today, more than 13 months after the time required by law, the commission is yet to submit an estimate of its expenditure and income for the year 2019, thereby grossly failing to comply with the aforementioned statutory provision, by which the budget estimates should have been presented to the house before September 30, 2018,” he said.

“Despite their failure to submit the 2019 budget estimates to the house, the commission has for a whole year, been operating, making expenses and awarding contracts further to its master plan, with certain awarded contracts worth up to N10 billion without an approved budget as required by the constitution and the enabling act.

“The NDDC has further violated the provisions of section 82 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Altered) by incurring expenditure far beyond six months as required thereunder and had spent monies in excess of half the amount approved by the national assembly in its 2018 budget.”

The lawmaker alleged that the commission awarded 250 contracts to phony companies without due process.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker, said the allegation is an indictment on the house. “I don’t want to believe that has been happening,” he said.

The motion was adopted by the house after it was put to a voice vote by Gbajabiamila.

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