Published On: Wed, Aug 7th, 2013

Bayelsa: Dickson Pays Questionable $44.1m Upfront for Fishery Projects

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Seriake Dickson

LAGOS AUGUST 7TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Gov. Seriake Dickson today shocked his listeners when he admitted to making payments to two foreign firms for a project that he said were still being negotiated.
The governor’s response to a question by a reporter on the value of the contract raised eyebrows.

Dickson, who presented payment instruments for 80 per cent of the contract, had declined to mention the contract value but merely said that the government was making a 30 per cent and 50 per cent payment to the two contractors.
Curiously the heavily-indebted state is still servicing a commercial agricultural loan and sundry bond obligations undertaken by his predecessor, Gov. Timprie Sylva.
Responding to the question on the contract sum denominated in dollars, Dickson committed blunders as he said that he was still looking at the figures with a view to arriving at the final figures.
In a lengthy and convoluted explanation, the governor failed to give reasons for making such a princely upfront payment for a contract that is still being negotiated.
Bayelsa governors are notorious for using projects to siphon public funds, then abandoning them. President Goodluck Jonathan, for instance, commenced a multi-billion hotel project in Yenagoa that is still in the “abandoned” category.
Silva also awarded many phantom projects across sectors where contractors got upfront payments and simply abandoned the site.
Source: Saharareporters

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