A contractor with the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), has exposed what he described as alleged wide spread corruption in the commission and described it as a “cash cow” of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The contractor, Dr. Ishaq Osagie-Eweka, lamented unwholesome practices in the Commission in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin on Sunday.
He regretted that in spite of the huge sum of money available to the Commission, it has failed to pay contractors for projects executed and armed with certificate of job completion.
Osagie-Eweka also frowned at the practice of collection of outrageous 20 percent of contract sum under the disguise of Assurance/Equity fee.
He further stated that the essence of setting up the commission have been defeated as it now used by public officials to siphon money.
He noted that all these were some of the reasons why the commission’s office in Warri was picketed by contractors a week ago.
“The constitutional provision for distribution of 13 percent derivation to states that host natural resources is sacrosanct as dictated in the proviso to Section 162 (2) of the 1999
Constitution as amended.
“However, it has become public knowledge that some chief executives of the various states with natural resources that largely contributes to Nigeria’s revenue generation divert and misappropriate the 13 percent derivation accruable
to their states as host communities.
“The commission have become the Governor’s Automated Teller
Machine (ATM) to steal and launder the common wealth of the people.
“Take for instance, the DESOPADEC; the data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that in 2021, Delta State received N141.93 billion from the 13 percent oil derivation federation accounts; being the highest amongst the oil producing states in Nigeria.
“Contracts awarded to contractors in 2021 have not been paid 13 months after the projects have been completed.
“The DESOPADEC is the Delta State Governor’s Cash cow for corruptly and surreptitiously stealing the common patrimony of the Delta State people and Nigerians by extension.
“Officials of the DESOPADEC award contracts to contractors by collecting Assurance/Equity fee of 20 percent from unsuspecting contractors which runs
contrary to the laws guiding contract award in Delta State and Nigeria.
“To cap it all, the commission doesn’t pay contractors on completion of the projects, even with certificates of completion,” he lamented.