Chief Whip of the Senate Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday said that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has yet to pay some contractors that he facilitated to build community roads.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia, said this while reacting to a the communique written by Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs to the National Assembly.
The communique reportedly mentioned names of former governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori , senators Ifeanyi Ararume and Orji Uzor Kalu, among others, as beneficiaries to the several contracts allocations by the NDDC.
In a statement signed by Mr Emeka Nwala of office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to news men in Abuja, Kalu said that he believed the issues at stake in the NDDC had to do with missing funds and not works done.
He said that he was becoming worried over his name being used indiscriminately to sell newspapers without verification.
According to the senate chief whip , the road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions he facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before he became a senator.
Kalu noted 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 Akpabio dated years back and long before he (Kalu) became a governor, adding that he would still request for more road interventions from Akpabio in time.
He said: “I was governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018 during my tour to several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent interventions 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 for which I am very grateful, 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 the projects were not any of the interim management in controversy but the fully constituted body of NDDC with its board.
“The roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road; Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze; Ndi Oji Abam-Atani Road; the Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these road’s; long time ago except ! road which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rainfall 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.” he said.(NAN)