By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Coordinator of National Power Sector Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPSAS), Mrs. Sybil Williamson, has threatened to drag the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to court for linking her to the alleged misappropriation N3.5 billion.
She has also called on the federal government to conduct a forensic audit of the NAPSAS account in order to unravel the mystery behind the misappropriation of the said amount.
Williamson said Wittengisson and Walters Ltd, which she happened to be one of the Directors, created NAPSAS as a result of its passion to help unemployed youths, before the federal government through the ministry expressed interest in the programme, thus, affiliated with it.
She said it has become necessary to make the public know the truth about the matter, as her reputation was being damaged because she was “too shy to speak out.”
According to her, “Wittengeisen and Walter created NAPSAS, not for the ministry, not for anybody, but for Nigerian youths. I, having to be of eastern origin, where apprenticeship has worked in getting young people off unemployment, was where this idea came from.”
“Apprentice does not require training, it requires placement, when my company created NAPSAS, we were not thinking that N340 million would be paid for somebody to do training; we understood what apprentice is about, get young people, have induction of two weeks, and after that they will be sent to power station to learn basic requirements.
“At no time was Sybil Williamson engaged in contractual agreement with Ministry of Power. But there are set of directors there, the people, who manage NAPSAS, money, the project accountant, the Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Papcal.
“Project Accountant, Mr. Nwachukwu has ganged up, together with NAPTIN people to drag my name to the newspapers and wherever they deem fit. They have chosen to soil my name because they have vowed that they were going to destroy me because I don’t get involved in whatever they are doing,” Willaimson stated.
She emphatically stated that at no time did her company or herself get involved in the management of any finance to deal with NAPSAS, adding that they never approved, or signed any money because their job was limited to recruitment and monitoring.
The National Coordinator explained further that, “management of funds was left for ministry officials, and the man that managed all the money was the project accountant, Mr. Ogbonaya Nwachukwu. Every request for money and approval went from Permanent Secretary to Director Human Resources, Mrs. Papcal.”
She wondered why she was been accused of misappropriating such amount of money, when she was never a signatory to any NAPSAS account, stressing; “the N1.3 billion that was given to NAPSAS, I dont know which account it was paid into, I dont know when it was given, I dont know how many people were paid.”
Williamson expalined that despite the fact that some States raised hundreds of million of naira that was paid into NAPSAS account in UBA, when it was time to pay the stipends, the trainees were told there was no money to be paid.
She therefore called on the National Assembly to conduct a public hearing on the issue.