Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP Delta North), Wednesday alleged that in 2017 alone, Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, collected contracts worth N500million from the Niger Delta Development Commission and did not execute them.
According to him; "in a letter dated August 7, 2017, addressed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on NDDC, Akpabio requested that five projects worth 500 million naira be added to the budget.
"Akpabio, as Minority Leader of the Senate then, used his office to include projects not budgeted for in the Appropriation bill".
The projects, as clearly stated in the letter, included fencing the Federal Polytechnic Ukana, Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District at the cost of 200 million naira; and fencing of Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene (Old site) Akwa North West Senatorial District.
Others are: Entrepreneurship training on the use of modern farming implement-Youths in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District at the cost of N75 million; entrepreneurship training on the use of modern farming implement-Women in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District at the cost of N75 million; and renovation of one hostel facility at University of Nsukka, Nsukka Campus at the cost of N50 million.
"Findings show that while there was no physical evidence of implementation of these projects, checks show contracts were awarded and fully paid for.
"Such practices have turned the region to sites of abandoned projects," Nwaoboshi lamented.
The minister dismissed the allegations.
Akpabio, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, said: "Senator Peter Nwaboshi's press briefing in which he alleged that my boss had written to him as a member of the Committee on Niger Delta to request for NDDC contracts to the tune of N500 million is false.
"Nothing could be further from the truth."
He explained further that the; "truth is that the letters he was brandishing were addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly at the time to make recommendations for zonal intervention projects as requested by the leadership.
"On what basis would Senator Akpabio have written to Senator Nwaboshi to be awarded NDDC contract?
"Is he the Managing Director of the NDDC?
"Senator Akpabio never requested for NDDC contracts from Senator Peter Nwaboshi as he is claiming.
"He's lying and no one should take him seriously."