The last may not have been heard afterall on the contract scandal in the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) as chairman of the senate committee on the commission Peter Nwaoboshi, has been asked to refund a sum of N2.5 billion on plastic chairs contract given to him and was not done.
The commission said the sum was given to the senator for the supply of plastic desks and chairs for primary and secondary schools in the region.
In a letter dated July 5 and addressed to Nwaoboshi, NDDC director of legal services, Peter Claver Okoro said the contract was fully paid for but the commission did not receive the items.
Okoro said instead, the desks and chairs were taken to a warehouse along Benin expressway.
“That sometime in 2017, the Commission awarded contracts to certain companies for the production of desks and chairs for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region under the 201 6 budget of the Commission. The list of the companies is attached as Annexure ‘A’. The total value of the said contracts was ₦2.552.305,600.00,” he said.
“That the contracts were in furtherance of the commission’s education sector mandate as catalyst for the improvement of classroom and learning conditions in the Niger Delta region.
“That instead of supplying the chairs and desks to the Commission’s warehouse in Port Harcourt or to any of the NDDC offices in the nine Niger Delta states, the items were supplied to a warehouse described as Akuede Akwis located at Benin Expressway, Okpanam, before Wichetech Aluminum Company.
“That the 2019 budget of the commission also contains the following heads: a. Provisions and supply of Plastic Chairs and Desks for Primary and Secondary Schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-15) for (Serial No. 21). b. Provisions and supply of Plastic Chairs and Desks for Primary and Secondary Schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-20) for (Serial No. 33). c. Production and distribution of Desks and Benches in selected schools in the Niger Delta Region for (Serial No. 396).
“That despite having fully paid for the 2017 contracts for the production of chairs and desks, the items has not been supplied to the commission. The resultant effect is that the commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs.
“That, I have been further directed to demand that you refund the sum of ₦2,552,305,600.00 to the commission being the contract sums paid in respect of the said contracts within 14 days of this letter.”
There have been allegations and counter-allegations following the decision of the national assembly to probe the alleged mismanagement of funds by the commission.
Minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godswill Akpabio named Nwaoboshi as one of the lawmakers who benefited from contracts awarded by the NDDC.
The legislator allegedly got 53 contracts from the commission — an allegation he denied.
Nwaoboshi had in a counter accusation said Akpabio secured a N300 million fencing contract from the NDDC while he was a senator in the previous assembly.