The Senate on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa over alleged non-payment of N2.2bn contract executed for the agency.
According to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, Akpabio and Akwa must appear before his panel on April 12, 2022 by 2pm.
Akinyelure said his committee had written “several letters of invitation to Akpabio and NDDC sole administrator on petitions against them without any response from them.”
He said, “It shouldn’t 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 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,” he said.
He explained that, “The summon was hinged on petitions filed against Akpabio and NDDC sole administrator by Akom Survey Services Limited.”
The firm alleged non- payment of fees for Survey carried out in the nine Niger Delta States based on N2.2 billion contractual agreement with the NDDC.
He said, “The petitioners totaling seven different companies, lamented in their petitions that non-payment for the services rendered, is pushing them into insolvency arising from unbearable Interests on loans secured from the banks.
“Aside the N2.2 billion contract yet to be paid to the seven companies by NDDC, there is an outstanding of N6.25 billion contracts yet to be paid to affected companies and N2.5 billion job racketeering scandal.
“Petitions on all these against the NDDC and by extension, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs are before the Committee which must be thoroughly investigated as mandated by the Senate.”