NDDC Contracts: Gbajabiamila gives Akpabio 48 hours to publish names of benefiting lawmakers

Akpabio at the hearing 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has given the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, 48 hours to publish the names of lawmakers who were awarded contracts by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as the details of the contracts.

Should the minister fail to publish the names, the speaker said the House will employ the full wrath of the law to ensure he does so.

The Speaker issued the ultimatum during plenary on Tuesday, a day after the minister claimed that most of the contracts awarded by the NDDC were awarded to lawmakers.

During a testy appearance before the House Committee on NDDC on Monday, Senator Akpabio claimed that the lawmakers were “the greatest beneficiaries” of NDDC contracts.

Asked how the lawmakers benefited, he said, “I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly”.

The Speaker, who accused Senator Akpabio of pulling the oldest trick in the book with the claims believes the minister owes it to the country to publish the names in the interest of transparency.

On Monday, Mr. Gbajabiamila had to intervene in the sitting of the committee after the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Daniel Pondei, slumped while being grilled about spendings by the commission.

He had called for calm and assured all those invited to appear before the committee that the invites were in the interest of the country and not targeted at anyone.

Stressing that it was a fact-finding mission, the Speaker wished Pondei quick recovery and urged the committee to proceed quickly and wrap up its investigations, stressing that Pondei had already submitted documents to them.

While issuing an ultimatum to Senator Akpabio about his claims, Mr. Gbajabiamila, however, said the committee had the right to invite Pondei again should it feel the need to do so.
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