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Published On: Thu, Jul 18th, 2013

Delta State Commissioner Akpeki Under Attack for Renovating Two Govt Houses with N95m

Delta State Housing Commissioner, Paulinus Akpeki,

LAGOS JULY 18TH (URHOBOTODAY)-?The use of N95 million by the Delta State Commissioner for Housing to renovate two offices in Government House, Asaba, has triggered condemnation. At a press briefing on Monday, Housing Commissioner, Paulinus Akpeki, disclosed that his ministry spent N27 million to fix the burnt office of Sunny Ogefere, the chief press secretary to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, and N68.6 million to repair a damaged section of Government House in Asaba, the state capital.
A mysterious fire in March, 2012 had gutted the office of the press secretary and a section of other offices in the press center at Government House. ?
Mr. Akpeki disclosed the big expenditures at a press conference that was part of the on-going mid-term report by officials of the Uduaghan administration. The commissioner proudly disclosed that the state had sunk N27, 172,353.16 to renovate the offices two months after the fire. According to Mr. Akpeki, the renovation included re-roofing, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry and painting.
He stunned the reporters when he also revealed that the sum of N68, 648,328.05 had been used to renovate a part of the old Government House.??“The works carried out at the old Government House included the repairs and painting of the buildings within the complex and the reconstruction of broken-down septic tanks and soak away pits.”
In interviews with SaharaReporters, several government officials, civil servants and Deltans criticized the investment of the huge amount to renovate two areas. “It is a clear case of fraud and corruption,” one civil servant said. Another source, a lawyer in Asaba, echoed the sentiment. “Would Chief Akpeki spend 95 million naira of his own money on these two jobs if the money came from his pocket?” the lawyer wondered.
Several government officials and civil servants that the money Mr. Akpeki announced was enough to build new befitting offices. “Obviously, some individuals used the renovation budget to enrich their pockets,” said one of them.
A miffed senior civil servant at the Ministry of Finance expressed dismay over the commissioner’s claims, adding that Mr. Akpeki was a known corrupt politician. “At this juncture, Akpeki needs to be questioned to break down the figure for us. What and what did he really use that huge amount of money for when that money can give you a completed befitting duplex?” he said. The civil servant added: “The other time when Patricia Eteh [a short-lived speaker of the House of Representatives who was forced to resign over her expenditure of an inflated sum to renovate her official residence] used several millions of naira to renovate her official quarters, we all shouted and condemned her. Now a commissioner has said he used the sum of N27.1 million to renovate a section of a building, not to build a new one. I think I will go with those branding Delta State as one of the most corrupt. Akpeki is one commissioner who is feeding fat on the state.”
Several Deltans who spoke to SaharaReporters also lamented the huge price tag of the renovations. A retired teacher who resides in Warri said, “We are lacking many basic amenities, but these government officials are spending money like water. They should know that they can be asked tomorrow to explain their actions.” An Asaba-based medical doctor said he was disgusted by the news. “Some of these government officials are amassing wealth with impunity,” he said.

Source: Saharareporters

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