The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has disclosed that most contracts of the Niger Delta Development Commission were awarded to members of the National Assembly.
Akpabio said this in Abuja at the sitting of the House of Representatives committee investigating the NDDC.
Akpabio, who was interrogated on the committee’s resumption, accused members of the National Assembly of taking most of the NDDC’s contracts.
Defending the huge of expenses of the commission during the pandemic lockdown, Akpabio said, “We cannot close down the Niger Delta because of the security implication in the region. We cannot close down the NDDC because of the fact that we are doing forensic audit.
The NDDC plays a vital role in ensuring the peace and security of the region, and 90 per cent or more of the resources of the country, on a monthly basis, comes from there. If you close it in totality, all you will have will be chaos.
“It is important that people who have gone to court, people who genuinely did jobs should be paid for their jobs. For me, I am not against it. Who are even the greatest beneficiaries? It is you people. If you look at your chairman, your chairman…”
While the deputy chairman of the committee interrupted Akpabio, another lawmaker, Goodhead Boma, asked the minister to name the beneficiaries among the lawmakers.
Akpabio said, “Are you asking me the beneficiaries in the National Assembly? I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given to members of the National Assembly but you (Boma) don’t know about it. The two chairmen (Senate and House) can explain to you. I was a member of the NDDC committee. I know what was going on.”