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N27.4 World Bank loan: You’re ignorant, gvt replies Abia lawmaker *Gives details of fund usage



Abia State Government, on Monday, brushed aside the question raised by Obinna Ichita, member representing Aba South State Constituency in the House of Assembly, over the N27.4billion it obtained from the World Bank for some vital project in the state, saying had the lawmaker made a little effort, he would have cured himself of his ignorance on the matter.

Chris Ezem, Secretary to the State Government, in a detailed response to a letter the lawmaker wrote through his lawyer, demanding the details of how the said fund was utilised, said Ichita, was merely advertising his crass ignorance on the matter, adding that instead of proceeding on the track of such ignorance, he should conduct some basic search to redeem himself.

Ichita, had through his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor of Adulbert Legal Services law firm, in a letter dated 28th February, 2023, written to the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu demanding details of the financing of notable projects in his constituency, particularly: “The accounting details of how the Government of Abia State spent the N27.4 billion (Twenty-Seven Billion, Four Hundred Thousand Naira (or the equivalent sum in dollar) which the Government of Abia State had received in full from the World Bank for road construction and erosion control projects in Aba specifically Port-Harcourt Road, Uratta Road, Obohia Road, Ohanku Road and Ngwa Road.

“The name and business address(es) of the Contractor(s) that executed any of the projects mentioned in the preceding paragraph; and copies of the contract awards documents and the cost of the execution of each project.”

The lawyer, who relied on the provisions of Freedom of Information Act, which requires compliance within strict deadlines and demanded the Governor’s timely response, insisted that he was entitled to the information and deserved to have same in the interest of his people.

But, Ezem in his reply, urged the lawmaker to stop chasing shadows, and get himself acquainted with the topic he wrote letter on, as everything he said showed high level ignorance on the issue he talked about.

He stressed for instance that the government did not receive any such stated sum by Ichita from the World Bank for road construction and erosion control projects in Aba, specifically Port Harcourt Road, Uratta Road, Obohia Road, Ohanku Road and Ngwa Road.

Routing his reply through Ichita’s lawyer, the SSG, wrote: “Your client being a principal officer of Abia State House of Assembly, which has performed oversight function over several activities in the state should know better or at least should have made his investigations well before his hurried ejaculation.

“At this juncture it will be right to stop the response until his question is put correctly but to show him that there are no skeletons in the cupboard and to prove that he is merely advertising his crass ignorance, let me educate you both on the true state of the project in question.

“The contract was for the ‘Construction of Flood Mitigation Measures at Uratta and Umuagbai Flood Plains in Aba Municipality.’ The contract was awarded to Messrs Hartland Nig. Ltd/NBHH JV of 23 House 24, Usman Halilu Street, Life Camp, Abuja after a rigorous International Competitive Bidding process supervised by the highest procurement committee of the World Bank at Washington DC, at the value of N27.4b.

“The contract was signed on 30th April 2020. At the NAFEX exchange rate of $1 to N413 this contract sum was $66,394,939,22. The site was handed over to the contractor in the first week of June 2020 and the contract duration was 30 months from the time of site take over,” Ezem replied Ejimakor.

The SSG added that the scope of works was for underground box culverts from Uratta pond through Port Harcourt Road, then along Ngwa Road and Obohia road to discharge storm water into Aba River at the end of Ngwa Road, and for the reconstruction of Obohia and Ngwa Roads after the box culvert works.

He added: “The only road construction components of this principal contract was for Ngwa Road, Obohia Road and a section of Uratta Road from Uratta pond to Port Harcourt Road by Ngwa Road. This contract did not at any time include the construction of all of Port Harcourt Road or Uratta Road or even Ohanku Road as you and your client have erroneously claimed.

“This project was executed under a World Bank loan facility managed by Abia State Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, ABS-NEWMAP. The official life span of the intervention was to end by June 30th, 2022.

“The World Bank and the State Governor met severally and settled that since the World Bank would no longer extend the life span of the intervention beyond June 2022, and would not abandon any project and since the State Government does not have the funds to complete the project if the World Bank withdrew by June 2022, that closure works be proposed which would be done to ensure that the site is left safe and devoid of any environmental and social safeguards issues. This was done by the state Government.”

Ezem, further stated that in the closure works process, the state government included the construction of Onyemaechi Road, a section of Ogwo Road, and other connecting roads to Ugwunagbor water front starting from Ngwa Road; Construction of an underground discharge culvert from Ogwo/Mbaise Road to Aba River, Construction of Okoro Street, Ibadan Street, and Uratta Road.

Others included the de-silting of the Underground tunnel from School Road through Asa triangle to Cemetery and Uratta pond; the tunnel from Ibadan Street ponds 1 and 2 through Ohanku and Owerre Aba to Aba River, de-silting of the major School Road open Channel across Ahia Ohuru into Aba River, he said, adding that the construction of an underground box culvert from Uratta pond through Crystal Park to Obohia Road, discharging at Umuagbai pond and the discharge structures from Umuagbai pond into Aba River which were done with large side drains to take runoff from these areas into Aba River were also included.

His words: “Having reduced the scope of the initial works, the state government refunded the sum of $15m to the World Bank which represented the components that would no longer be done. The new contract sum became N19,279,237,117.68. Out of the above stated sum, the contractor earned the sum of N17,491,888,544.93. So far, the contractor has been paid the sum of N16,825,965,056.71. The outstanding payment is N665,923,488.22. Details of these payments are available for inspection at Abia NEWMAP office any day.”

Reminding the lawyer that the lawmaker, was never present at any of the several community engagements with his beloved constituents who he claims to be fighting for, he added: “Your client was never present at all the appearances of Abia NEWMAP before all the committees he was a member of (appropriation, environment, etc etc throughout his stay in the house). Your client does not know the real worth of the works being done for his constituents.

“Your client does not know the status of the works. Your client never showed concern throughout the troubling times when the state almost lost this project. Your client has severally made bogus claims of how $54m or $56m or any amount he dreams of had been given by the World Bank for his constituents. Your client had also claimed that the state government got $800m to share to indigent citizens of Abia State from the World Bank. All these are in the public domain. At each instance the state government responded with facts and figures, yet he could not even use the simple “google search” in the phone he is carrying about to educate himself.

“This is the kind of client you have retained. He will certainly bring you to shame. This is the person who wants to be deputy governor of Abia State. His principals are already tired of his loquacious attitude.”


Obi to Nigerians: Don’t be despaired, your mandate won’t be lost



The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi says he is aware of some evil designs against himself and his supporters in the coming months.

The former Anambra State governor disclosed this in a statement released on his verified Twitter handle on Monday, May 29, 2023.

The release of the statement coincided with the inauguration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Nigeria’s President at the Eagle Square in Abuja.


I am aware of some evil designs being hatched against me and my supporters in the coming months. Efforts will be made to taint my image. Campaigns of calumny are being perfected to defame my character and diminish my hard-earned integrity.

— Peter Obi (@PeterObi) May 28, 2023

See full statement:

For all Nigerians, this is a time for deep reflection. It is also a time to re-examine our assumptions, even as we reaffirm our hopes. Let us calmly review our aspirations, in order to recalibrate our expectations and pin down the causes of our missed opportunities and disappointments.

We stand at that critical moment in time when, as a people, we must collectively come to grips with the reality of our injured destiny as well as the reasons for that injury. It is for us to reassess our plight as a young democracy and identify clear pathways to a better and greater future for us all. As we await the verdict of the election tribunal, I urge all Nigerians to use this opportunity to renew their commitment to the Nigerian ideal. That ideal remains noble and worth every sacrifice we can make.


Nigeria remains our only patrimony and it is a patrimony we must protect, rather than violate. We have no other nation but this, so let us remain committed to rescuing and rebuilding it.

The judiciary is part of the democratic enterprise and a critical governance tool for determining the propriety of the decisions and actions of every citizen and every institution of state. To that extent, and for that reason, I urge everyone to treat it with the respect and dignity it deserves.

We expect that the Nigerian judiciary will use the election cases now before it to reaffirm its independence and integrity. It has to do so, for all our sakes and for itself.

Nigerians must, therefore, remain peaceful and law abiding. No matter the depth of anyone’s reservations about what is going on in the polity today, no matter the real and imagined provocations, and no matter the disagreement out there, we should remember that this will not last forever.

I remain committed, and untiring, in my determination to work with like-minded fellow Nigerians to end the curse of missed opportunities and squandered hope that has become our lot here.

I will never shrink from that original commitment, because I firmly believe that we must change from the present politics of criminality, and corruption, in order to make a new Nigeria possible.

I call on fellow Nigerians, especially the youths to remain steadfast, calm, patient, and peaceful. Our journey may be long and difficult but it is worth it in every way. Victory is assured.

We have to work together to move our beautiful country from corruption and criminality to a center of productivity rather than aimless consumption.

I am aware of some evil designs being hatched against me and my supporters in the coming months. Efforts will be made to taint my image. Campaigns of calumny are being perfected to defame my character and diminish my hard-earned integrity.

These schemes will aim at degrading our support base and confusing the public. But, no evil campaign will alter the substance of my character; nor diminish my patriotic commitment to a better Nigeria. It is about the future of our youths. it is about ending the Years of Locust.

In all of this, I thank Nigerians, our great party (LP) and the media. The latter, as the Fourth Estate of the realm, has remained a trusted ally.

This Estate must continue to guide our people on the immense promise of a future in a new Nigeria.

God bless Nigeria and protect the troops keeping us safe in this season of vaulting insecurity.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. –PO


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Tinubu will unveil Ministers in two months *He’ll be different – Faleke



James Faleke, lawmaker and Secretary of the now defunct All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), has revealed that President Bola Tinubu would unveil members of his cabinet within 60 days.

Channels Television, which quoted him as saying on Monday, at the inauguration of of Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as president and vice-president of Nigeria was underway at the Eagle Square in Abuja, said the President, would , unveil his cabinet as soon as possible.

Faleke, who promised that the new President would bring a different approach to power, was quoted as saying: “Of course, within 60 days, that’s what the law says. He can announce anytime but I just know he must do it within 60 days.”

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Tinubu: My stand on corruption, insecurity *How I’ll banish poverty in Nigeria



Eradication of terrorism, waging war against corruption and battling the crippling poverty in Nigeria, would form the fulcrum of a new Nigeria President Bola Tinubu, says he would strive to put in place as his new government began hours ago after assuming the reins of power as the 16th President, after Muhammadu Buhari handed over to him at an elaborate ceremony at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday.

Vowing to  defend Nigeria from all forms of terror, as well as end extreme poverty in the country, Tinubu, told Nigerians: “I will do that through job creation and food security and end to extreme poverty. I will ensure that corruption is tacked by strenghtening anti-corruption agencies.”

He also promised that his administration would discourage corruption through the introduction of a credit culture, stating: “Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.”

It was also on a day the President, who had during his presidential campaigns, promised Nigerians that he would remove subsidy on petroleum products, made good his words by announcing suspension on them, adding that the era of payments on fuel was gone, as the 2023 Budget made no provision for fuel subsidy “and more so, subsidy payment is no longer justifiable.”

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