The Federal government says it has uncovered N423 billion fraud within the Ministry of Niger Delta from 2009 to 2015 which is the administrations of former Presidents Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
Minister of the Niger Delta, Usani Uguru, disclosed this while addressing state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday May 31st.
According to him, an internal auditing committee set up by him showed that most of the contractors awarded contracts to build infrastructures in the Niger Delta never went to site while some others who went to site completed only 12% of the job they were given.
He said out of the N700 billion voted for contracts in those years, N423 billion were released and nothing is on ground to show that the money were indeed utilized. “Today FEC received approval of a project technical audit committee report which was carried out by the ministry in investigating all contracts awarded and projects and programmes carried out in the ministry from inception of the ministry from 2009 to 2015.
The revealing content of the report shows that over N423 billion has been expended in the region by the ministry alone, not other intervening agencies. From this amount, project execution rate has been at 12percent, with an average completion rate of a project standing at five years. And the impact rate is 8percent.
So, today we have sought approval from Council to have the recommendations of this report conveyed to the legitimate agencies charged with the statutory responsibilities of recovering government assets that are either misappropriated, misused or found to be idling in some quarters.
With this, it means all those who have accessed government resources for one purpose or another must be compelled to make adequate use of same otherwise face the recommendations that go with such violations, and that is our position concerning that report.
And we have got Council approval for that. It’s also important to place emphasis on the fact that in the region of 60per cent resources in terms of funds had been paid out to contractors with that 12per cent completion rate.
When we say 60per cent, it is 60per cent of the amount of money that was actually appropriated, being N700billion. And so, 60per cent of that constitutes N423 billion. So, to find that N423 billion has been expended in the region with the type of result we see obviously shows that there is something tangibly and obviously wrong with how procurement had been carried out in the ministry” he said