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Akpabio Writes National Assembly, Names Senators, Reps Members Who Benefited From NDDC Contracts

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has list members of the National Assembly, who allegedly got contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The list was contained in a letter Akpabio sent to the National Assembly.

The National Youth Council of Nigeria presented the document to the media in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the letter, Akpabio listed Senator Peter Nwaoboshi’s name against 53 projects.

The projects included Emergency Repairs of Asue Street, Owa Phase 2; Emergency Repairs of ldumuogbe Road via Ojemaye; Emergency Repairs of Otolokpo College Road, Otolokpo; and Emergency Repairs of Police-lshu Ani Ukwu Road, Issele Uku.

Others included Emergency Repairs of old Sapele-Agbor Road, Obiaruku; Emergency Repairs of Ehwerhe-Obada Road; Agbarho Road; Emergency Repairs of Ifeanyi Eboigbe Street; Boji Boji Owa/Goodwill Street; Owa Alero; and Emergency Repairs of Ahiama Okwu to Obuocha Okwu among others.

The former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC, Mr. Nicholas Mutu, who represents the Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency of Delta State, is among those linked by the minister with contracts.

Akpabio also listed Mutu’s name against 74 projects.

The projects included various emergency road projects in Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers States.

Other lawmakers that Akpabio listed projects against are Senator Mathew Urhoghide (six), James Manager (six), Sam Anyanwu (19), and others simply identified as Ondo and Edo Reps.

The letter by Akpabio was addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who had threatened to drag Akpabio before the court if he does not name the lawmakers that had benefitted from NDDC contracts.

Akpabio had at a House Committee probe alleged that 60 percent of the contracts in the NDDC was executed by National Assembly members.

He later recanted having made the allegation.

Akpabio’s letter was also copied to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The letter read in part: “May I extend to Mr Speaker the compliments of my office and those of the staff of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

“I refer to the resolution of the House passed on the 21st July 2020 and forwarded to me on the same day Ref. NASS/HR/LEG/3/36/VOL.ll/O8 directing me to respond to the contents therein within 48

“The investigating Committee on NDDC refused and/or neglected to give me the opportunity to explain that reference to most NDDC contracts yearly being awarded since 2001 from the records allegedly to members of the National Assembly in both Chambers were done without the knowledge of the alleged beneficiaries. However, the two chairmen of the Committees in both Chambers had adequate knowledge;

“I never referred to members of the 9th National Assembly as beneficiaries of NDDC contracts as NDDC is yet to fully implement any NDDC budget since the commencement of the 9th National Assembly. In fact. the 2019 budget passed in February and harmonized between the 4th and 5th of March 2020 was received by the Commission in the middle of April, 2020, when the same was designated to expire on the 31st of May, 2020.

“However, it is pertinent to point out that the Clerk of the National Assembly forwarded a letter Ref. NASS/CNA/115/VOL.38/1175, dated 20th March 2020, without attaching the budget details indicating that the 2020 budget of the NDDC passed into Law was being forwarded (copy of the letter is attached as Annexure ‘A’). This anomaly was brought to the attention of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee investigating a purported financial recklessness by the management of the commission in July 2020, though the first outcry was on allegation of missing N40bn which was totally untrue;

“It has always been known that the two chairmen of the committees on NDDC in both chambers yearly exhibit unusual influence to the exclusion of committee members and even the management of the NDDC in appropriating funds to details embellished in the budget after the passage of line items at the plenaries. In the 2019 budget, the Executive Director Projects forwarded to me the attached list of 19 Nos. old contracts amounting to almost N9bn after tax, that the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on NDDC, Honourable Tunji-Ojo, insisted the IMC of NDDC must pay before 2019 budget details could be released to the commission (see Annexure ‘A1’).”

BIG STORY

No More Congratulatory Messages For Bawa, EFCC Warns

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has observed the increasing number of messages published in the print media by groups and individuals, congratulating Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa on his well-deserved appointment as the Executive Chairman of the Commission.

While the open exhibition of affection and solidarity may be salutary in our cultural milieu and indeed appreciated, it is however inauspicious at this point in time and gradually turning into a distraction.

Mr. Bawa is assuming the leadership of the EFCC at a time of great challenge and he desires to hit the ground running. What he needs from well-wishers and indeed all Nigerians is support and prayers, and more importantly, credible information that will further the work of the Commission.

He, therefore, appeals to all his admirers and well-wishers who might have the intention of demonstrating their love and support for him through paid newspaper advertisement to desist, and instead channel such resources to more worthy causes, such as making donations to Orphanages and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps.

No More Congratulatory Messages for Bawa, EFCC Warns

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has observed…

Posted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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NPHCDA: No Microchips In COVID-19 Vaccine, No Changes In DNA

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Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says the belief that the COVID-19 vaccine contains microchips and changes the DNA, is false.

Nigeria received its first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine containing 3.9 million doses on Tuesday.

In an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, Shuaib said it was the responsibility of health workers and scientists to address any concern that Nigerians may have regarding the vaccine.

“We as health workers; we as scientists have been working in the last few years to make sure that we don’t take for granted any questions or concerns that Nigerians will have. It is our responsibility not to just offer the vaccine but we also have to put in the hard work to convince Nigerians, to provide them with the information around their questions. So is there a chip for example? No there is no chip in the vaccine. Is it possible that this will change your DNA? No, that doesn’t happen,” he said.

His comment comes amid misconceptions by some Nigerians concerning the vaccine — such as ”it changes the DNA; it contains chips, and it is the mark of the Antichrist”.

While addressing concerns that only the rich will get access to the vaccine, Shuaib said the distribution will only be done according to priority — with frontline health workers as first priority followed by vulnerable groups.

”We have not already allotted these vaccines to the rich people or the people in the urban areas. Absolutely not. The president has been very clear , and the vice-president has also added his voice. The Chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) has communicated this, and in our PTF media briefing, we’ve made it very clear in terms of who we’re going to prioritize. The first group of people who are going to be taking this vaccine are the frontline health workers,” he said.

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COVID Vaccines Not Allotted To Rich People —– FG

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The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said contrary to widespread insinuations, the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid vaccines presently in the country have not been apportioned to “rich people”.

Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, made this known while featuring on Channels Television’sSunrise Daily’ programme.

Nigeria on Tuesday received nearly four million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF, and WHO.

The 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine arrived in Abuja at noon on Tuesday.

Speaking on the delivery of the vaccines on Wednesday, the agency boss said, “We are protecting the vaccines very closely, we’ve increased security around the vaccines to make sure that unauthorized access is not possible.

“So, we are waiting on NAFDAC. We feel that they are going to do all of the checks that are necessary and once they give us the green light, we will be ready to roll out the vaccines.”

Asked whether the vaccines have been shared among influential people, Shuaib said, “I will tell you categorically that we have not allotted these vaccines to the rich people or to the people in the urban areas, absolutely not. Mr. President has been very clear.

“Mr Vice President has also added his voice and the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force has communicated this at the Presidential Task Force media briefings. He has made it very clear in terms of who we are going to prioritize and I will repeat it here again that the first set of people who are going to be taking these vaccines are those people who have sacrificed in the last one year taking care of all Nigerians that have come down with Covid-19. So, the frontline health workers.

“On Friday, we are going to be launching the vaccines, we are going to be rolling them out at the treatment centers at the national hospital. Our priority will be the health workers that are frontline. We are going to be giving these vaccines to first responders.

“We are also going to be looking at people outside of the health sector who are at risk of getting Covid-19. We are going to be looking at those strategic leaders like Mr President and the Vice-President, those people who will also want to take the vaccines publicly so that they can motivate the followers to take the vaccines, to convince them that the vaccines are very safe.”

He enjoined Nigerians who wish to receive the vaccines to register on the website of the NPHCDA, adding that over 2.3 million Nigerians have registered in the past few hours.

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