RE: Cairo Ojougboh Allegation Is Spurious. –Ifeanyi Okowa
"Our attention has been drawn to the statement made by the Governor of Delta State Mr.Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa where in reply to our earlier statement titled “Issuance of Blank Budget and poor state of affairs” incompetence,lack of capacity and fraudulent budget process in Delta State.
"The Governor referred to our statement as spurious and that Dr.Cairo Ojougboh “who though went to school but made very unintelligent comments”
"We therefore want to use this opportunity to explain to Deltans how the ongoing fraud in Delta State was structured.During the tenures of His Excellencies,James Onanefe Ibori and Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan,the expenditure approval limits for Governors was Fifty Million Naira (N50, 000, 000).
"On the 17th August 2015 immediately after inception,the Delta Government issued a circular without seeking the approval of the state Exco jerking up the Governors approval threshold from N50 Million to N250 Million (see attached circular).
"The Governor also immediately increased the threshold of the ministerial and State tender boards,but barred them from exercising their power in paragraph two after the said circular:
“The reviews presented above pertain only to the costs of projects in view. All other extant supportive processes for procurement will continue to apply.
"This includes,for instance,the requirement for MDAs to obtain the prior approval of His Excellency,the Governor,before applying the instrumentality of Ministerial Tender Boards to projects that come within their scope.Similarly,the practice of obtaining the prior approval of the State EXCO for projects in category C will continue to apply’’.
The impact of this fraudulent increase in approval threshold is not lost to Deltans. The Governor then proceeded armed with this “dangerous weapon of mass destruction” to initiate the greatest fraud ever seen in the history of Nigeria.
1. For the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, he did not present budget details for the state budget and DESOPADEC budget. The government has failed since the 4th October 2017 till date to produce the state and DESOPADEC budgets for 2016 and 2017.
2. The government then went for the bailout funds. Delta State Government has received N76 billion till date. The government also passed the hangover loan from the previous administrations to the
Federal Government as bonds, so there are no liabilities to this present administration on previous loans.
3. In the process, the Paris Club refund of N20 billion was paid to the Government. This again disappeared, not accounted for the list.
4. Delta State is one of the lucky states that receives enormous monthly allocations, eg, the State received N14 billion for the month of September, 2017 which was the highest in the federation.
5. Internally generated revenue brings an additional of N10 billion monthly.
Looking at the above,one can see that Delta State has no business with poverty and since the inception of the present Government,Delta has received N840 billion in allocation, loans, IGR and grants.
The truth of the matter is that apart from a questionable monthly wage bill of N4 billion and with unpaid salaries and pension of up to 24 months,the government has completely mismanaged, misappropriated,misapplied and looted the state dry.
With the approval threshold of N250 Million,the Government uses only four (4) memos to siphon one billion with criminal and malignant impunity.
Truth they say is stranger than fiction, only yesterday the Commissioner for Finance posited that 2203 political office holders are paid N330 million naira, this again is not true.Each earns N250,000 and common sense shows that the monthly wage is N550 million.Is there any truth in this Government?
This Press Conference has become necessary to call the attention of the public to the motion on the floor of the house where the Governor was purported to present 2018 budget when he had not presented the 2016 and 2017 State and DESOPDEC budgets.
The practice is that as soon as a budget is presented to the house, the Speaker causes the budget breakdown to be circulated to all members.
The standing Committees of the house becomes Sub-committees of the Committees of Finance and Appropriation. The various Sub-committees submit their report to the Appropriation Committee and collate them into the appropriation report.
We challenge any member to present a copy of the 2016, 2017 State and DESOPADEC budgets..We also encourage members of the house to obtain copies of the 2018 budget and return to their constituencies to discuss the budget.
The Delta State APC is very worried about the unfortunate destructive fraud pervading our state and hereby call on Mr. President to act on our earlier letter to investigate this fraud and the Traditional Rulers and Clergy in Delta State to intervene to stop the bleeding of the State, otherwise, the consequences will be grave.
The APC implore Deltans to note the sorry state of our cities and the complete darkness now enveloping the previously well lit cities of Asaba and Warri. Poverty yawns in Delta State.Finally,we again call on the State House of Assembly to stand up to be counted.
The State House of Assembly should suspend the sales of Delta line and investigate the criminal handover of our common wealth to private individuals in Government.For us Deltans, change has come to the state and the APC is waiting to change the course of history and bring development to Delta.
Ladies and Gentlemen,thank you for listening.
Long live Delta State
Long live APC.
DR. CAIRO OJOUGBOH
Media Cordinator, Delta APC Leaders Council