CONTRACT splitting is rampant in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio, said on Monday.
According to him, the management of the agency indulges in splitting contracts to outwit the minister and evade approval.
Speaking before the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta in Abuja, the minister alleged that the agency spent “over N4.2 billion in a day in tranches of N49 million.”
The committee is probing how N40 billion was spent by the Interim Management Committee (IMC).
Akpabio was invited with the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei.
Pondei fainted during the proceedings and had to be revived and taken to the hospital.
The minister also told the panel why Ms. Joi Nunieh was sacked as the agency’s managing director. Ms Nunieh, Akpabio said, was sacked, following a letter from the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, that she did not posses the requisite qualification to occupy a public office.
On the allegation that the agency had been awarding contracts without going through the procurement process and signing of necessary documents, the minister said only three contracts had been awarded since his assumption of office.
The minister hinted that in all the contracting processes, both the technical and financial bidding processes were conducted before they were awarded.
Akpabio, however, claimed that NDDC managers have been splitting contracts to evade his signature, saying he has no hands in the contract payments by the agency as government regulation does not allow ministers to pay for parastatals’ contracts.