The Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions of the Nigeria Senate, has summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr Effiong Akwa, over alleged non-payment of N2.2bn to contractors.
The summon follows series of petitions filed by Akom Survey Services Limited, over alleged refusal by Akpabio and Akwa to pay for a survey carried out in nine states under the commission, based upon a N2.2bn contractual agreement.
Senator Ayo Akinyelure, Chairman of the committee, called for the Minister and the NDDC Sole Administrator to appear before the panel on April 12, 2022, by 2pm, without fail.
Akinyelure, who spoke to newsmen at the State House said the committee had written several letters of invitation to duo of Akpabio and Akwa on the petitions, but they neither of them have responded to the invitations nor honoured them.
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He said, “It should not be business as usual. Akpabio and the NDDC Sole Administrator must appear before the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee, failure of which will lead to issuance of warrant of arrest on them.
“The committee wants to believe that as far as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs is concerned, breakdown in communication must have caused his non-appearance before the committee, because as a senator he should know the implication of that.
“This press briefing is being done to solve the perceived communication breakdown between the committee and his office. If our letters are not delivered to him, he will read and hear about the invitation in the media.”
Akinyelure disclosed a total of seven different companies have petition the duo over non-payment for services they rendered.
The companies said the non-payment of the contract fees was pushing them into insolvency from unbearable interests on loans they secured from the banks.
“Aside from the N2.2bn contract yet to be paid to the seven companies by NDDC, there is an outstanding of N6.25bn contracts yet to be paid to affected companies and a N2.5bn job racketeering scandal.”