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Kalu carpets Akpabio says NDDC is yet to pay contractors of roads he facilitated

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Kalu carpets Akpabio says NDDC is yet to pay contractors of roads he facilitated


Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State,  Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has indicated that  the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is yet to pay any dime to the contractors who built the roads he facilitated. 

Kalu was reacting  to the communique written by Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, where he  reportedly mentioned ex governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori , Senator Ifeanyi Ararume , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and others to the several contracts allocated by the NDDC
This was contained in a statement which was signed by Barrister Emeka Nwala of office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to newsmen in Abuja Monday.

Kalu said he believes the issues at stake in  the NDDC have to do with missing funds and not works done, adding that he is becoming worried over his name being used indiscriminately to sell newspapers without verifications.

According to him the road projects mentioned by the Honourable Minister are the interventions he facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before he became a Senator. 

Kalu indicated that his name was mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to the NDDC in 2016 requesting and pleading with the body  to rescue roads in Abia. 

He also noted that his relationship with Senator Akpabio dated back to many years before he became a govenor, adding that he would still request for more road interventions from Akpabio 

His words,  ” I  was Governor of Abia State between 1999-2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a Senator.  Between 2016- 2018 during my  tour to several communities;  leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads . I wrote to the NDDC informing the body of the conditions of these roads and the need for their attention since Abia is an NDDC state . 

“The  NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.  Whatever link I have with the  projects is because it was considered due to my intervention” He said 

The Senate Chief Whip also noted that the NDDC that awarded these projects were not any of  the interim management in controversy but the fully constituted body of NDDC  with its board. 

Clarifying further, he said “The roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the Honourable Minister were repairs of  Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road ;Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze ;  Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road ; the Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road .

“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads long time ago except  Abam-Atani road which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to  rain but still ongoing.  

“Meanwhile,  it would interest Nigerians to know that the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime . It has not been easy with the contractors but because it’s a community project they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC.

Further speaking, he said  ” I am  so much concerned about  roads  because I understand the economic importance of good roads , that’s why I built several roads when I was Governor.  Even as a Senator,  it would interest you to know that my major constituency projects are road constructions,  reconstructions and rehabilitations . We have put in plans  to finish 19 roads in Abia North before end of 2021. 

 “As a community leader,  I do not intend to stop my interventions on roads in NDDC states because all the states need good roads. Good roads help to  drive the economy.  Therefore,  I believe the NDDC forensic audit should focus on the missing funds and not works done . They should focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs and not using my name indiscriminately to sell newspapers. The Honourable Minister,  Senator Godswill Akpabio is my good old friend.  We have been friends even before I became  a governor.  I hope he doesn’t expect me to stop seeking for road interventions in our communities . It is his civic responsibility to support the communities and I am very confident he will oblige our future requests especially in areas of good roads.”  Kalu said 

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Legislature

Senate panel suspends budget defense over attacks by hoodlums

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Senate panel suspends budget defense over attacks by hoodlums

Senate committee on Interior yesterday suspended budget defence by the agencies under its purview on account of the #ENDSARS protests that was hijacked by hoodlums and the COVID-19 pandermic.
The committee chairman senator Kashim Shetima said most of the paramilitary organisations were victims of the attacks by the hoodlums as some of their offices were attacked and others burnt down.
He said they have submitted their 2020/2021 budget containing details hence there was no compelling need for them to hang on.

“Those paramilitary organisations, the Federal fire service and the Civil Defence submitted their budgets containing details of expenditure.
“We have received and will subject them to public scrutiny and when the need arises we will call them back to shed more light.

“In the light of the growing challenges and the issue of the  pandemic we felt compelled not to dissipate their useful time and energy answering a lot of questions from us.

He said there are no compelling issues to hold them back.
“If there is need for them to appear before us as we said earlier, we will call them back and subject them to scrutiny.
“We have the budget and there are explanations on  how the funds are expended.
“If we want an additional information we will inquire from them but right now some of their organisation are being attacked some of their offices were burnt down, so how do you expect us to hold them to ransome here while their needs for them to attend to outside.”

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Senate faults FG’s lackadaisical approach to environmental safety

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Senate faults FG’s lackadaisical approach to environmental safety

**Minister says Ogoni cleanup is FG’s priority

The Senate committee has on Environment has expressed disappointment over Nigeria’s disregard for environmental safety issues.

This came to the fore Tuesday during the Budget defense by the ministry of environment before the the Senate Committee on Environment.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, indicated that government’s failure to accord priority to environment issues is underscored by the relatively poor budgetary allocation to the Environment Ministry.

The Environment Minister, Mohammad Abubakar told the Senate Committee that his Ministry is presently tackling environmental issues including oil spills, among others.

The sum of N8.9 billion is the total allocation for the Environment Ministry, as captured in the 2021 budget.

When asked about the much talked about Ogoni cleanup that has lingered for some years the minister said,

“Three weeks ago we were able to completed six remediated sites that are being certified by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) right now. I think about three or four more are in the pipeline to be completed and certified and the remaining fifteen sites of the first 21 are being worked on seriously and we completion very soon. “There are 36 additional sites that have been awarded. They are at various stages of work. “There are livelihood programme that are going on which have been part of the clean up project by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that is ongoing currently.
“About 1200 women and youths are being trained in various skills like agriculture, aquaculture, poultry, welding and so on. A great number of youths have been employed by the projects.”
He said the cleanup of Ogoni is ongoing adding that it is one of the main project of this administration.

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Legislature

CNA decries theft by Legislative Aide in NASS

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CNA decries theft by Legislative Aide in NASS
…As NASSLAF inaugurates new Exco

The Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Architect Ojo Amos Olatunde, has condemned in strongest terms, the burglary act recently carried out by a legislative aide in the National Assembly .

The CNA who made the condemnation in Abuja Friday during the inauguration ceremony of newly elected executives of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum ( NASSLAF), challenged the new executives to fish out bad eggs among them .

” It is sad to note the ugly incident that occurred recently , when a legislative Aide was caught breaking into the office of a Lawmaker .
” What would have prompted such regrettable incident? There is the need for this newly elected executives to be vigilant by flushing out any bad eggs amongst you ” , he said .
He also admonished the executive to run welfare – driven Unionism and not confrontational one against the management in any way, since accordimg to him, most of their outstanding demands, were met within his first 28 days in office as Clerk to the National Assembly .

His words, “This EXCO must be guided that Unionism is all about welfare of all and sundry .
“Union matters must witness a new dawn and turn, which must be separated from the ugly past.
“I am proud and elated to state that under my watch, we have fulfilled the promise of the ‘First 28 Days’, and we are resolved to make sure that not only all statutory claims of Legislative Aides are promptly paid, but training programmes are pursued to logical conclusions ” .

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who was represented by the Senate Deputy Leader, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice ( APC Ondo North), also tasked the newly inaugurated EXCO to make NASSLAF the required lubricant of the operational engine of the Federal lawmakers .
In his inauguration speech, the Chairman of NASSLAF, Alhaji Salisu Zuru, promised to run an EXCO and Union that will not be confrontational to the management of the National Assembly at all levels but collaborative .
“As a union, we intend to run an inclusive administration . We shall ensure collaborative synergy with relevant stakeholders like the National Assembly Service Commission , National Assembly Management and the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies ( NILDS).
“History has taught us that constructive engagement achieves results, more than unnecessary grandstanding and confrontation.” he said.

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