Akpabio denied the allegation saying it is an instance of corruption fighting back from those resisting “the wind of change.”
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, the Minister was asked to respond to Dr. Nunieh’s sexual harassment allegation.
Akpabio said, “As a minister of the Federal Republic, I can’t talk about individuals.
“I’m more concerned about what this administration can deliver to Nigerians and how to make sure NDDC delivers its mandate to the region.
“All the rumbles you are hearing are because of the change that is coming; for the first time, the people will have a say on how their funds are used.
“Change is coming and they should be prepared for it. N18 billion was inserted into the NDDC budget for schools, yet, they have no school to run.
“Since I became a minister, I have only given out two contracts. The first, was for the forensic audit of NDDC and the other for COVID-19 intervention to states in the region.
“NDDC is assisting states to set up two testing centres. We also assisted the governors financially to set up isolation centres.
“The story of the Niger Delta will change. The forensic audit will throw up who has money to refund, who still has job to do.
“And even now, over 70 contractors have gone back to work. All the participating forensic audit firms are registered with the Auditor General of the Federation.
“With a mere mention of forensic audit, over 70 roads have been completed in the Niger Delta. The forensic audit is meant to block leakages in the system.
“On the first day of the forensic audit, 8,000 documents were given to them. Some who collected money in 2004, 2006, are now coming back to do the work.”
Akpabio said the issue of corruption was high in the Ministry before he came on board, adding that someone collected billions to supply fingerlings but when he assumed office, the unnamed individual came to him and said the fingerlings are now ready and “I just laughed and asked him to return the money to NDDC.”
Odunews.com had earlier reported that Mrs Nunieh said that she slapped the Minister after he tried to sexually harass her.
The disclosure by the ex-NDDC MD subjected Akpabio to public backlash with some Nigerians also calling for his impeachment.
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