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Senate seeks probe of CCB contractor over N1.5bn abandon project

Nigerian Senate names 69 committee chairpersons, deputies [Full list]
The National Assembly Joint Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition Tuesday asked anti-corruption agencies to investigate a contractor for abandoning a project after collecting N1.5bn mobilisation fee.

The project was said to have been abandoned since 2015 after the mobilization was paid.

The joint committee said that the contractor abandoned the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau in Abuja.

According to the committee, the project is still at the foundation stage for more than four years.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, who sat over the joint session, spoke when the CCB, Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Public Complaints Commission, appeared to defend their 2020 budgets.

Akinyelure wondered why neither the management of the CCB nor any other government agency had raised an issue over the development.

He said, “The Federal Government paid N1.5bn to a contractor in a bid for the nation to have a befitting headquarters for the Code of Conduct Bureau in the Federal Capital Territory. As of 2015, the project was still at the foundation stage and nothing has been done since then.

“I recommended in the 7th Senate when I was the chairman of this Committee when the case came up sometime in 2015, I recommended that that about N700m should be put in the budget to enable the CCB to buy an already completed building that could be converted to an office.”

He wondered why the CCB had not taken action on the contractor despite being one of the statutory agencies in the country recognised by the constitution to fight graft.

He said, ” We want you (CCB) to furnish us with the project details and if any refund had been made by the contractor. We expect the relevant anti-corruption agency to have started the probe of the contractor before now”

The committees also expressed worry over what it described as the poor funding of the CCB, Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Public Complaints Commission especially being anti-graft agencies constitutionally established to fight graft in the country.

The committee described as unacceptable information by CCB Chairman, Mohammed Issa and Chairman of CCT, Danladi Umar, that they have not received any capital vote from 2018 till date.

The committee noted that the three anti-graft agencies should be placed on the first-line charge so that their budgets would henceforth enjoy 100 per cent funding from the federation account.

Akinyelure said, “Considering the current complaints about poor revenue accruable to the Federal Government, the budgets of the CCB, CCT and the PCC, should be on first line charge under statutory transfers.

“We are going to communicate that to the executive so that whatever is approved for them would be released to the 100 per cent so that they could do their work effectively. We need to do this to show Nigerians that we are serious about corruption war in this country.”
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