3rd August, 2020
Former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has reacted to report by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio that he was one of the beneficiaries of the contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Kalu, who is the Senate’s Chief Whip, said the NDDC had not paid the contractors who constructed the roads he facilitated, saying that he believed that the issues at stake in the NDDC had to do with missing funds and not works done.
The lawmaker, in a statement issued by Emeka Nwala of office of the Senate Chief Whip, said was becoming worrisome that his name was being used indiscriminately to sell newspapers without verification.
In the statement, Kalu said he was governor of Abia State between 1999-2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019, when he was sworn in as a Senator and that between 2016- 2018 during his tour to several communities; leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads.
Kalu said he wrote to the NDDC informing the body of the conditions of these roads and the need for their attention since Abia is an NDDC State and that the NDDC in their consideration, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not himself.
According to him, “Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention.”
He added that the NDDC that awarded the projects were not part of the interim management in controversy but the fully constituted body of NDDC with its board.
“The roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the Honourable Minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road; Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze; Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road; the Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads a long time ago except Abam-Atani road which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, it would interest Nigerians to know that the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime.
“It has not been easy with the contractors but because it’s a community project they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC.
” I am so much concerned about roads because I understand the economic importance of good roads, that’s why I built several roads when I was governor,” he said in a report by The Punch.