Former Abia state governor and Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, has come out to explain his link with some of the projects executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godwill Akpabio, in a letter sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, listed Kalu as one of the beneficiaries of the contracts awarded by the NDDC. According to the letter, Kalu was linked to the emergency repairs on five road projects in Abia state ranging from N517m to N560m.
However, in a statement released by his media aide, Emeka Nwala, Kalu said the road projects linked to him was strictly based on his intervention when the community leaders with the affected roads approached him to use his influence to get the roads repaired. According to Kalu, he only approached NDDC to get the roads fixed.
His statement read:
“I was Governor of Abia State between 1999-2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a Senator. Between 2016-2018 during my tour to several communities; leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads.
I wrote to the NDDC informing the body of the conditions of these roads and the need for their attention since Abia is an NDDC state. The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself. Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention.
The contractors have completed and delivered these roads long time ago except Abam-Atani road which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
Meanwhile, it would interest Nigerians to know that the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime . It has not been easy with the contractors but because it’s a community project they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC.”