ELFON thanks Buhari over payment of NDDC scholarship students, Points to Akpabio, Pondei as corrupt - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

ELFON thanks Buhari over payment of NDDC scholarship students, Points to Akpabio, Pondei as corrupt

The National President of the Emerging Leaders Forum of Nigeria (ELFON); Godstime Chukwubuikem Samuel has commended Muhammadu Buhari for ordering the immediate payment of fees and stipends of stranded scholarship students of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) studying abroad.

According to a statement signed by the NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, Buhari conveyed the directive to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, following a two page letter titled: "ATTENTION PLEASE" written to the President by the ELFON President after an emergency press conference held in Abuja after the protest of the said students abroad.

Odili said the students would be paid by the end of the week explaining that the delay was caused by the sudden death of Chief Ibanga Etang, the then Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, EDFA, of the Commission in May.

Odili said: “Under the Commission’s finance protocol, only the Executive Director (Finance) and the Executive Director (Projects) can sign for the release of funds from the Commission’s domiciliary accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

“With the death of Chief Etang, the remittance has to await the appointment of a new EDFA. Senator Akpabio, the Honourable Minister, said President Buhari who has been briefed on the protest by students at the Nigerian High Commission in London, coupled with the ELFON's press conference and letter to the president, has ordered that all steps be pulled to pay the students by the end of this week. We expect a new EDFA to be appointed this week. As soon as that is done, they would all be paid.”

Hon.Godstime who spoke this morning from Owerri, the Imo state capital, noted that the step taken by President Muhammadu Buhari goes a long way to show how much he loves Nigeria, youths and students.
The ELFON Boss further stated that President Buhari approved the Nigerian Youth investment Fund in order to promote youth development in the country. He also gave our "not too young to run bill" a nod in support of Nigerian youths.

On the list of NDDC contracts handled by members of the National Assembly, Odili noted that the one submitted by Senator Akpabio was not compiled by the minister but came from the files in the Commission.

He said the list submitted to the National Assembly was compiled by the then management of the Commission in 2018 adding that there was another set of lists for emergency project contracts awarded in 2017 and 2019 but were not submitted to the National Assembly.

Odili said: “The Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Commission stands by the list, which came from files already in the possession of the forensic auditors. It is not an Akpabio list but the NDDC’s list. The list is part of the volume of 8,000 documents already handed over to the forensic auditors.”

He said prominent indigenes of the Niger Delta whose names were on the list should not panic as the commission discovered that people used their names to secure contracts, adding that the ongoing forensic audit would unearth persons behind the contracts.

He said the intention of the list was to expose committee chairmen in the National Assembly who used fronts to collect contracts from the commission, some of which were never executed.

Odili added that the list did not include a case of 250 contracts, which were signed for and collected in one day by one person for members of the National Assembly.

When asked about his opinion on the NDDC/ NASS matter, Comrade Godstime said the NDDC interim Management Committee led by Prof.Pondei and overseen by Godswill Akpabio are very corrupt, noting that the 2020 budget hasn't been passed and the IMC has spent billions already without due process, claiming that forensic auditing was on while the auditors were yet to be cleared.
"In due time, I will unravel all the atrocities committed by Mr. Godswill Akpabio and Prof. Pondei led NDDC IMC", Godstime promised.

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