The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has made a u-turn, saying that he never said lawmakers got 60 per cent of the contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who announced the receipt of Akpabio’s response, said the minister claimed to have referred to old contracts awarded by the NDDC which had not been paid for and some of which were part of the constituency projects of the lawmakers.
Gbajabiamila said Akpabio’s response would be referred to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges to look at the merits of the minister’s arguments.
The minister’s response came after Gbajabiamila said the lawmakers would sue Akpabio for failing to prove that NDDC awarded contracts to them
However, Akpabio, in the letter said the only reference he made to 60 percent during his presentation before the NDDC committee on Monday was in response to a question by a member of the committee.
According to him, a member had sought to know whether a Medical Director could serve as an Executive Director Project, to which he responded by saying that since 50 to 60 percent of NDDC contracts were medical related, there was nothing wrong in a Medical Director serving in that capacity.
The minister stated that the Executive Director, Project of the NDDC forwarded to him a list of 19 owed contracts which the Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC insisted must be paid before the 2020 budget of the commission was passed.