Posted by News Express | 21 February 2015 | 3,502 times
Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe, has accused Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole of lying about the status of the abandoned water project at Okpella, Etsako LGA of Edo State.
The minister in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja demanded that Oshiomhole should “retract his unfounded allegations against the Federal Government of siphoning N800m that never existed” through the same media he used to spread the falsehood last Tuesday, Feb. 17.
“There is no such record or claims by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources that the water project in Okpella is completed or in use,” Mrs. Ochekpe said in the statement, a copy of which was made available to News Express.
She explained that the Okpella Water Supply Project was awarded by the defunct Petroleum (special) Trust Fund (PTF) in December 1998,” adding: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Okpella project is one of the failed projects of the current flag bearer of the APC – General Muhammadu Buhari when he was the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust fund (PTF).”
According to Mrs. Ochekpe, “The Federal Ministry of Water Resources at the inception of this administration undertook a nationwide assessment of several abandoned projects in the water sector including the Okpella water supply project, and documented them properly for completion by the Federal Government of Nigeria. You may wish to note that some of them have been completed, such as Ilesha Dam in Osun State, Ogwushi-Uku Dam in Delta State, among others across the country.
“Such spurious allegations of completion had been trumped up in the past and reported to the EFCC who have carried out investigations and discovered that there are no such records of completion in the Ministry, nor were there any funds appropriated and released to the tune of N800m and expended by the Ministry on the Okpella water supply project.
“If Governor Oshiomhole wants to undertake water projects especially for the people of Edo State, which is his statutory responsibility any way, let him go ahead and do so without joining issues with the PDP-led Federal Government. The role of the Federal government in the provision of water to rural communities is interventionist, not statutory. So Comrade Governor, brace up to your responsibilities and provide water for Edo people.
“Furthermore, Governor Oshiomhole needs to know that no Government of Nigeria over the years has demonstrated as much political will and delivered on its promises in the water sector, like the President Jonathan-led Federal Government. You may wish to check the scorecard of the Ministry.”
•Photo shows Water Resources Minister Sarah Ochekpe.
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