The Federal Government is set to probe the dualisation of the 362 kilometer East-west road to ascertain whether the 270 billion Naira so far spent on the project tallied with the work done so far.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Astor Uguru Usani, gave a hint about the planned probe during inspection of the Rivers-Akwa Ibom section of the road project.
According to him, his ministry will engage auditors to look into the books to ensure that contractors were guided by specifications and designs for the job.
The minister in company of the Minister of State, Professor Claudius Daramola and some senior officers of the Ministry of Niger Delta were led by the Managing Director of Reynold Construction Company (RCC) and his team through the portion of the road the firm was handling for which 65 billion Naira had already been paid.
The minister said that the Federal Government wanted to see the completion of the road project which, according to him, had taken longer than expected.
Hours after the swearing in ceremony, some Nigerian Ministers resumed at their various ministries and addressed officials of the Ministries.
Some of the Ministers that resumed on Wednesday are that of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
Addressing reporters in his office on Wednesday, hours after their swearing in ceremony, Mr Ogbeh said the Ministry would continue along the lines of successes achieved by the immediate past administration.
He, however, said that the ministry would extend its services to farmers across the country ,while improving on some of the shortcomings of the past administration.
He also stated that the Ministry would place emphasis on export, while improving the food self-sufficiency of the country.
He added that, the Ministry would also lay emphasis on the involvement of youths in farming.
Ibe Kachikwu, who visited the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, met with the Permanent Secretary and other managers in the ministry.
Addressing them, Kachikwu said efforts would be made to ensure that the working environment and perception of the ministry was changed.
“The working environment and perception of this ministry must change and we are working on that in NNPC as well.
“Leadership must come from the ministry. We have dwindling resources and we must see how to cut costs and improve on earnings,” he said.
Fashola Targets Improved Power Supply
On resumption of duty at the Ministry of Power, Mr Fashola went into a close-door session with the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Louis Edozien and Directors on the way forward in tackling the enormous task ahead.
The Minister said that his thoughts were on how to bring together processes and activities of all the Ministries now put under his supervision for effective service delivery.
He assured the Ministry’s leadership of his willingness to learn from them as they were career people who have been on the job for a long time.
“We are here to work with you, in solving problems on ground as quickly as possible, we want to know if some of those problems are man-made or systemic.
“We want information on what has been done, what remained to be done, and what are the future plans, we want to continue from there,” Mr Fashola said.
The Minister said he was also interested in how best to harness the available human resource and physical asset in the ministry, as all these information would assist the ministry in commencing work immediately.
“We need to do more so as to regain lost time. He told his audience that Nigerians are anxiously waiting for result, which in this case is improved power supply nation-wide.
Also speaking, the Honourable Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Mr Mustapha Baba Shehuri said that as a matter of urgency, he wanted a detailed Ministerial Briefing Document to serve as a guide. “This will ensure proper take off,” he said.
The Director, Human Resources, Mrs Grace Papka, gave copies of the requested documents and a time-table for proposed briefings by Departments and Agencies in the power sector to the two Ministers.
In a bid to fulfill his pledge that recommendations made by the controversial Ribadu Report would be looked into, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up white paper committees to prepare Draft White Papers on the reports of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force and two other reports on the nation’s oil sector.
The others are reports presented by the National Refineries Special Task Force and the Governance and Controls Special Task Force.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati on Thursday announced the appointment of the latest committee to probe the nation’s oil sector.
According to Dr Abati, “the committees are to study the reports, review the issues raised and prepare Draft White Papers for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council within two weeks.”
The white paper committee on the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report-now known as Ribadu report-will be chaired by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, with the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed as members.
It will be recalled that President Jonathan, after the rancour between members of the committee during their submission of the report, gave the assurance that despite the rancour , his administration will look into the report and prosecute any one alleged of misappropriation in the nation’s oil sector.
The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and a member of his team, Steve Oronsaye traded words at the presentation of the committee’s report to the President with the latter alleging that the report was flawed with unconfirmed figures.
The white paper committee on the report of the Governance and Controls Special Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple.
Other members of the committee are Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Bukar Tijani.
The white paper committee on the report of the National Refineries Special Task Force has Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Mohammed Sada as chairman, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike as members.
According to the statement, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will provide a secretariat for the committees.
The statement further adds that the President has made the move “in furtherance of his declared commitment to doing all within his powers to ensure greater accountability, probity and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”