Cairo Ojougboh, executive director of projects at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), says in the past, getting a contract at the agency is like winning a lottery.
The agency is currently in the eye of the storm over a series of corruption allegations being investigated by the national assembly.
In an interview with Arise Television, Ojougboh accused the past management of the commission of being responsible for deep-seated corruption in NDDC.
He said the agency could award a project of N700 million to a contractor and it would be executed with just N10 million.
“Between 2016 and 2019, emergency contracts of over N2 trillion were awarded under the supervision of the chairmen of both committees,” Ojugboh said in the interview he granted in May.
“The chairman of senate committee collected one thousand of those jobs and said he was going to give it to the senate. The records are there. The 1,000 contracts were collected by a man called Nelson Agbamuche on behalf of the senate.
“The immediate crisis that came was as a result of the budget. How did the budget run into a problem? It was in 2016. The bureaucracy told us when we came in that there was no budget from 2016 to 2018. The budget for 2019 was just passed some few days ago. What led to it?
“A chairman of senate in 2015 called the bureaucracy that they need to include for him a N15 billion project in the budget. The bureaucracy said it was fair enough, went behind and worked it out. When they came back, the chairman said I didn’t say N15 billion. I said N150 billion.
“The bureaucracy went back and they couldn’t comply because there was no way they could do that. The chairman went back to the bureaucracy asking them to award emergency contracts without due process. That was how the emergency procedures were breached and the commission now has a commitment of over N3 trillion. How can this continue?
“We were no paying as they used to. So, the contractors are very angry. Normally, once you have a contract in NDDC, it is like you have won a lottery. A contract that they will award for you in NDDC for N700 million, you can use N10 or N20 million to do it.”
Speaking before the House of Representatives committee probing the commission on Monday, Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, said most of the contracts awarded by the NDDC are given to national assembly members.
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