By: IYOKPO J. EGBODO, Abuja
A member of Nigeria’s House of Reprsentatives, Hon. Abubakar Chika on Tuesday accused personnel of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing of perpetrating fraud while executing water supply projects he attracted as his zonal intervention projects in the 2016 and 2017 budgets.
The lawmaker said in the 2016 and 2017, he attracted borehole projects of N30 million naira respectively, and domiciled same in the Ministry, but was disappointed with the manner in which the projects were shabbily executed.
According to him, each the boreholes, which should not cost more than N600,000 were in 2016 executed at about N2.2 million each, saying even at that, all the bore holes collapsed, just weeks after they were said to have been completed. He confirmed that of the N60 million worth of projects in contention, the federal government separately cash-backed them to the tune of N42 million (N21 million in 2016, and N21 million in 2017), but that his people were left with nothing to show for it.
Addressing journalists at the National Assembly, Chika accused the ministry officials of sitting on his letter of complaint, personally written to the Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
He said his understanding of being a member of the parliament was not to carry out poverty alleviation schemes, but that since it was an official offer, he felt “it was his right, and the money belong to the people of my constituency”, adding attempt at not executing the projects, or in short of the required standards amounted to a denial of their rights, and promotion of corruption.
“They want to short-change the system, and stink my name. Why should I not be given the right thing for my people?, the lawmaker lamented as he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the blanket label of budget fraud against members of the National Assembly, and rather work to restructure the public service system, which he said is currently deeply involved in “stealing through documents”.
On whether he will take further steps to bring the contractors to book, Chika said he has told the world of the fraud perpetrated against his people, and that what was left was for the anti graft agencies to take up their roles.