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NDDC Probe: Pondei, Others Collecting 30% Before Contractors Are Paid ―Report

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The Senate has revealed that the new head of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei and other members of the Committee now collect 20 per cent to 30 per cent of contract sums before Contractors are paid.

This is contained in the report of the Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, APC, Ekiti North led Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of the alleged Financial Recklessness to the tune of N40 billion in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, by the IMC.

The Committee report also indicated that the claim by the IMC and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, that the Headquarters of the Commission had been completed to 95 per cent is false.

The Senate Committee in the report said that these were revealed by the Chairman, Contractors Association of Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr Joe Adia in a written submission to it.

The report read in part: “that the claim of the Interim Management Committee( IMC) of the NDDC of paying with less than N50 Million is totally untrue as there are over 500 transformer installation and payments less than N4.5 million that have not been made for over eight years is untrue.

“That the new head of IMC- Prof Pondei and other members of IMC are now collecting 20% – 30% of contract sums before Contractors are paid.”

According to Adia in his submission, the Immediate past Acting Managing Director of the Commission, Mrs Gbene Joi Nunieh had stopped all contractors from accessing the Commission till the completion of the Forensic Audit and this made it difficult for contractors to seek payment for projects they executed.

Recall that the Senate on 23rd July considered the Senator Adetunmbi led Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of the alleged Financial Recklessness where it indicted itself as an institution for not carrying out an effective oversight function on the activities of the IMC of the NDDC that led to the rot and high level of corruption in the interventionist agency.
The Senate had also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, sack the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged financial recklessness and constitute a new board for the NDDC.

The Ad-hoc Committee which had Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Ekiti North as Chairman, had Senators Jika Dauda Haliru, APC Bauchi Central; Mohammed Tanko Almakura, APC Nasarawa South; Abdulfatai Buhari; APC Oyo North; Chukwuka Utazi, PDP, Enugu North, Ibrahim Hadeija, APC Jigawa North East and Degi – Eremienyo Biobarakuma Wangaha, APC Bayelsa East.

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FRESH: AbdulRazaq Lauds CACOVIDS, Delivers Palliatives To Vulnerable Kwara Homes

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday said the organised private sector has played strategic roles in Nigeria’s campaign against COVID-19 pandemic.
 
AbdulRazaq commended their efforts which he said included the setting up of isolation centres, medical supports to various states, and the recent donation of food palliatives to vulnerable households across the country.
 
The Governor spoke in Ilorin, the state capital, at the flag off of the distribution of the food palliatives donated by the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the state.
 
“We are very appreciative of the efforts by CACOVID in the fight against COVID-19. This is not the first. They were with us at the isolation centre where they made donations of medical supplies and other things . The food palliative is another move. We are really grateful for their interventions to governments across the country,” AbdulRazaq said.
 
The CACOVID food palliatives to Kwara were 27,360 bags of semolina; 27,360 bags of sugar; 27,360 cartons of pasta; 27,360 bags of salt; 27,360 (10kg) bags of rice; and 54,720 cartons of noodles. 
 
AbdulRazaq said the government would work with CACOVID team to ensure that the palliatives get to the intended beneficiaries — again commending the government’s committee led by Emir of Shonga Dr Haliru Yahya and the civil society organisations for the great job done in the distribution of government’s palliatives.
 
“I must mention Alhaji Aliko Dangote and others for this feat. They have spent billions of naira to distribute food to all the states. But they understand that they cannot give foods to all Nigerians and that is why it is targeted at the vulnerable families. We are working with them to ensure that it goes to the ward level,” he said.
 
“Unlike what we distributed earlier, this is for (specific) households and I want to appeal to our people to understand that. This is not the time to say what I got is too small. Whatever you get, please say AlhamduliLlah. CACOVID has a template and we will allow them to make use of their template for the distribution. We will follow their template. I sincerely thank the Emir of Shonga, Dr Yahya Haliru, other members of the state committee, and the civil society organisations for the way they handled the distribution of the state’s palliatives. I also thank all the traditional rulers for the way they handled COVID-19 issue.”
 
CACOVID Representative and Zonal Head of Access Bank Muhammed Adelabu said the coalition came together to rally support for the Nigerian governments in the fight against the pandemic, adding that the coalition has so far commissioned 38 isolation centres and donated over 100,000 test kits and various personal protective equipments across the 36 states of the country.
 
“Today, we have commenced the third phase of our intervention plan in the fight to combat and eradicate COVID-19 in Nigeria; the CACOVID National Food Relief Programme which will see the distribution of various food items to over 1.6m families i.e over 10 million Nigerians across the country,” Adelabu said.
 
“We are doing this to help the most vulnerable households that have been affected by the coronavirus.”
 
Isa Ibrahim, whose household received from the CACOVID palliatives, commended the private sector-led initiative for their support and the state government for its laudable efforts to combat the virus as well as spread development to every corner of the state.
 
Tunde Mohammed, another beneficiary, also lauded the initiative and the praised the Governor for his “developmental strides especially in the areas of water, road, and health where we can see things for ourselves.”
 
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BREAKING: Buhari Meets Governors, Service Chiefs Over Insecurity

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President Muhammadu Buhari is currently meeting some state governors and service chiefs inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the meeting is aimed at tackling the worsening security challenges in parts of the country.

The meeting is being attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; and National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.).

State governors who are attending the meeting virtually include Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Douye Diri of Bayelsa; Babagana Zulum of Borno; David Umahi of Ebonyi; and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos.

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FRESH: United States President, Trump, Sends 200 Ventilators To Nigeria

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The Nigerian Government has received 200 ventilators donated to the country by the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Trump had in a telephone conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari on April 28, 2020, pledged to support Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 by sending ventilators.

Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, while receiving the ventilators on behalf of the Nigerian Government from the United States Agency for International Development at a ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday, said life had not been the same for Nigerians since the first COVID-19 case was recorded in February.

He said, “This donation consists of 200 ventilators, which, as we all know by now, are a critical component of the response strategy to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by this viral infection.

“They will certainly be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria and I wish to convey the appreciation of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of the government of Nigeria, to President Donald Trump and the United States Government for the generous consideration and friendly gesture.

“The Federal Ministry of Health, and its public health Agency, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, have focused on providing guidance to tackle the challenges.

“Our health workers have been trained and equipped and are doing the needful to attend to COVID-19 patients and give emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services.”

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