Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs clears air on alleged Non-Payment of Contractor.

Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to shed light on alleged refusal by the Ministry to fulfil contractual obligations to some contractors to the Ministry.

The Minister, made the clarification before the Senator Patrick Akinyilure-led committee.

The Minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Jackson Udom, in a statement said, the complainant, Akankpo Dien Aniyom was among the names submitted as one of the surveyors engaged by the main Consultant; Blantine Nigeria Limited.

According to Akpabio, Blantine Nigeria Limited was engaged in September 2010 and from the list of the surveying firms, they are not aware there was anytime the ministry engaged the complainant; Alcon Survey Services.

Speaking further, Akpabio disclosed that,”Blantine Nig Ltd, was supposed to survey a suitable site for the Ministry in Cross River State. I understand they surveyed two sites. One was not suitable, while one was. The Ministry considered a letter written by the complainant from Paul Irokoro and Co, and the case went on and on and the Ministry kept concluding that you are not known to us and how do we start? There is no nexus between you and us.

“I think out of frustration, the complainant reported the matter to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in 2016. Directors of the Ministry were invited, they made both oral and written submissions and after over a year investigation, the ICPC absolved the Ministry and said there were no nexus between the complainant and the issues at hand and at best, they were sub-contractors to Blantine Nig Ltd, whose responsibility ought to be for them to settle their sub-contractors and not the Ministry settling the sub- contractors onbehalf of the engaged consultant.”

“Mr Chairman, as you have said, we must look at it from the human perspective because we are talking about human beings, who probably, offered services. I would have been very glad if the Blantine Nig Ltd, were here because they can’t just engage family members like this to do jobs for them and at the end leave them hanging since 2010. I am here today out of respect and love for this distinguished Senate and your Committee and I am very proud of what you are doing. At anytime you call on me, I will always be here. That is the summary of my submissions. Thank you, Mr Chairman,” he concluded.

Senator Akinyilure commended the Minister for honouring the invitation to shed more light on the issue.

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