Wonders, they say will never end. The so-called Interim Management Committee (swiftly acronymed as IMC) in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) despite the protestation greeting their appointment, have swung into action, claiming that they won’t be in office for more than six months, whereas, the forensic audit which they are going to oversee and supervise, is not likely to end in one year.
However, they hit the airwaves with a shocking revelation that as they are reviewing the operations of the NDDC, they discovered that a particular serving senator from Delta State is handling 300 projects from the commission (NDDC), 120 of which have been fully paid for whereas the jobs have not been done. It was the kind of news that is bound to raise hairs. Three Hundred contracts by one person from the same organisation? How?
Even registered and full time contractors cannot be that lucky, let alone a serving lawmaker.
But the IMC, through Cairo Ojuigboh did not mention the name of the exact senator.
Many people had merely suspected the senator so accused. But Senator James Manager, representing Delta south senatorial district and one of the longest serving senators (the fifth time) issued a statement from abroad where he said he went “for an official duty” daring Ojuigboh to name the senator.
Chinua Achebe had once said old women do not feel easy when dry bones are mentioned in proverbs.
It is not certain why James Manager has chosen to speak on behalf of all three senators from Delta State. Is it because he is the longest serving senator from the state? Or is it because he has continued to be the Chairman, senate committee of the NDDC for over ten years? Did he think the fingers of accusation are pointing in his direction? Is it that he does contracts with NDDC but just not as much as mentioned by the IMC?
Is he daring the IMC so the attention will shift from him?
We however know of a senator who got a contract to fence a village school with the sum of N350 million, few years back. And you will wonder what the entire cost of a village school is.
Well, the IMC has said the EFCC has been briefed on the anomaly and the said senator would soon be invited.
But hey, what kind of organization will award 300 contracts to one man, no matter how many different phoney companies he brings?
Was the IMC merely exaggerating the number of the contracts? Isi t really true that one man collected that much contracts? Is it true that 120 contracts have been fully paid for without evidence of job completion? Who approved those payments?
Indeed, if the alarm raised by the IMC is true, it will not only explain why the region remains decrepit, it will indeed justify the need for the forensic audit as ordered by Mr President.
We will strive to keep pace with this story..