The Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday said that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has not paid the contractors who built the roads he facilitated.
In a statement by Barrister Emeka Nwala, Kalu who reacting to the on-going probe of the NCDC said he believed the issues at stake in the NDDC have to do with missing funds and not contracts awarded or jobs executed.
It would be recalled that in a communique written by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, he had reportedly mentioned ex-governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and others to have benefited from several contracts awarded by the NDDC.
According to the Chief Whip of the Senate, 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 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.”
He added: “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 to 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.”
The Senate Chief Whip who expressed worry over his name being “used to sell newspapers” by allegations being raised by Akpabio 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 a board.