David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
A group, South East Development Initiative (SEDI), has called on the Governors of Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi States, Chief Willie Obiano, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Dave Umahi respectively, to investigate a rural water project awarded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to two firms in their states.
The group, in a petition to the governors, said it was pained that the water contracts which were awarded in 1991 to be constructed in the three states was abandoned, while the federal government was still making deductions for the project up till date.
The petition, which was signed by the group Chairman, Joseph Onwe, and two other members, Ikem Onwudiwe and Chief Chukwuemeka Nwodo, and made available to THISDAY in Awka, Anambra State, urged the governors to investigate the contract as deductions were still being made from their monthly allocation for the project.
Part of the petition read: “We are referring to the contract awarded in 1991 for rural water supply in old Anambra State, which was financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) based in Cote d’Ivoire. The AfDB also financed the huge contract for rural water project in many communities in the old Anambra State.
“You owe the people of Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra States the duty to explain to them what became of the contracts. After all, huge amount of money is deducted monthly from your state entitlements from the Federation Allocation account to pay for the loan plus interest. And the deductions will go on for 22 and half years.
“There was an initial suspension of five years on the loans. It is remarkable enough that your states have been paying for the loans and interest rates straight from the monthly allocations from the federation account without knowing why.”
The group gave the governors 21-day ultimatum to begin a probe of the contract, failure of which it would have no other choice than to involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the group, “If after 21 days you are, however, unable to commence a probe into the heist against the people of Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra States, we will be compelled to report the matter to the EFCC as well as President Muhammadu Buhari for prompt action.
“We trust President Buhari and the new EFCC leadership to come to the rescue of our long-suffering people.”