Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in the Senate, Matthew Urhoghide, has denied any link with execution of contracts awarded to him by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In a swift response to insinuations in some sections of the media Urhoghide, who represents Edo South Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he was neither awarded neither dud he execute any personal contract from the Commission.
In a statement titled: “RE: NDDC CONTRACT AWARD PUBLICATION OF JULY 27, 2020”, he declared as follows:
“My attention has been drawn to the newspaper publication in the THISDAY newspaper and many other Nigerian newspapers of July 27th , 2020.
“The misleading newspaper publication would have Nigerians believe that I was awarded contracts for which I was paid undisclosed amount of money.
“I, Senator Matthew Urhoghide hereby deny all allegations made against me and its insinuation, In setting these spurious record straight, the said contracts alleged in the said publications and the status of these projects, to the best of my knowledge are as follows:
“1. Etete Road Project:
NDDC awarded this to a company 3 years ago, I am not privy to the company it was awarded to. However, the said company was not mobilized financially and therefore abandoned the project.
“2. Nneka /Akpabo Street, Ugbor Project:
NDDC also awarded this project, but as characterized by the NDDC modus operandi, the contractor was not mobilized and the contractor also abandoned the project.
“3. Idusogie Eweka Road Project:
This project was awarded to a company known as AC EGBE Construction Company. This company i am informed, has been doing business with NDDC since its inception. The project is presently on-going. The contractor returned to the site after 2 years of contract award because the company has not been paid any amount of money.
“4. The Street Light Project:
These projects are on -going in Oredo , Ikpo-Okha, Orhionmwon and Egor Local Government Areas of Edo South Senatorial District. These contracts were awarded by NDDC to companies I do not know. The projects are presently on-going. I am told that the contractor have not been paid any amount of money.
“In consideration of the above explanation therefore, I state hereby with all certanity that:
“(A). I am not a contractor and I have neither bidded for nor been awarded a contract by NDDC.
“(B). I have no relationship whatsoever with the contractors NDDC awarded the aforementioned contracts to.
“(C). No amount of money was ever paid to me directly or indirectly in connection with these contracts.
“(D). I have not in anyway benefitted monetarily for the award and execution of these contracts or any other contract for that matter. I challenge any contractor to come forward with any claim of financial inpropriety in the award and execution of these projects.
“The general public is at liberty to carry out a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission to ascertain the ownership of these companies.
“As a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing the good people of Edo South Senatorial District of Edo State, I have the responsibility of attracting projects to my Senatorial District. This is part of my representation, and I am duty bound to attract projects to my Constituency.
“But for anyone to misrepresent that my dogged pursuit of a good representation of my Senatorial District by attracting Projects to my constituency equates to being a beneficiary of a contract award or a flat out award of these contracts to me is a calculated attempt to cast aspersions on my good name.
“I state unequivocably that I never benefitted in the award or execution of these contracts.
“It is very unfortunate, that these allegory are made by a one time Senator who knows that attracting projects to one’s Senatorial District is not contracts awarded to the personal benefit of such a Senator.
“Senator Godwill Akpabio was a Senator of the 8th Senate and was a member of the NDDC committee of the senate. It will be proper and a good thing to do, if Senator Akpabio can publish the numbers and cost of contracts awarded to him by NDDC during his tenure as a Senator.
“These projects go through procurement processes of the respective MDA’s, NDDC inclusive, who award, supervise and pay contractors directly for their contracts.
“I therefore reject Senator Akpabio’s allegation in its entirety and call on him to set the record straight.”