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Heineken Lokpobiri dares Wabote to prove him wrong on the alleged $500m investments

. Task journalist to visit project sites of NCDMB’s partners 

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri says he
stands by his statement at The Petroleum Club’s quarterly event in Lagos, that NCDMB wasted over $500 million of the industry’s fund in equity investments, in private
establishments, and in loans that are now non-performing.

While reacting to a recent media statement by the former Executive Secretary of the
Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board, NCDMB, SIMBI Wabote, the
minister dismissed as lies claims by the Secretary that his office requested for
increase on the NCDMB budget by N30 billion from the office of the Minister.

In a statement signed by Nneamaka Okafor, SA Media and Communication,
Minister Of State For Petroleum Resources (Oil), the minister noted, “Our position is
that he who alleges must prove same. So, if Mr. Wabote has proof of such
conversation, he is challenged to provide same.”

“Secondly, the Minister has no aide called Blackson. All his aides were duly selected in
line with extant laws and have documents to that effect.”

“The Minister in his capacity as chairman of the Governing Council stands by his
statement at The Petroleum Club’s quarterly event in Lagos, and as journalists, I
welcome you to visit the places mentioned to verify the allegations for yourself”, the statement had read.

“Fourthly, the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical company was also paid for, you are
welcomed to also visit the site to verify the facts for yourself.”
The statement also shows that Investigations are ongoing and the truth will surely
come to light and monies belonging to the generality of Nigerians will be recovered
for Nigerians.

“Let me add that these revelations are not new, they were first made during an
investigative hearing of the House of Representative Committee on local content.
Again the records are there and you are welcome to verify these facts.

“The Minister has never been part of any budgeting process of any parastatal under
the Ministry, you are welcome to visit these agencies to verify for yourself.

“Finally, the Minister’s office is run with a budget superintended by the permanent
secretary and so one will wonder, how the Minister will ask another entity to make
provisions for the budget of his Office. The Minister has an impeccable record from
his time as Minister of Agric and will continue to stand for the truth.

The Minister and Indeed the Chairman of the Governing Council of the NCDMB will
not abdicate his responsibility to please anyone. He has a responsibility to ensure
that, that which belongs to Nigerians is judiciously used for Nigerians
“I have had course to read Mr Wabote’s release and everyone can see that he is still
nursing the wounds of being replaced even after spending seven years at the Board.

At best, this is a clear case of when you fight corruption, corruption will fight back.”
The minister had earlier vowed to recover the money even as Engineer Wabote
continues to debunk the allegation as untrue, describing the minister’s statement as
reckless. He challenged the Minister to visit the sites of the projects where the money
was invested.

“The HMSPR-Oil is implored to visit the construction sites to avail him of facts on
ground. He should also check the MPR archives of the strategic plan to diversify oil
and gas development clusters in the Niger Delta using Bonny Island, Brass Island,
Onne, Ogidigben, Ibom, etc. Perhaps, this will cure his aversion to any developmental
initiative in Brass Island and the Niger Delta in general”, Wabote said.

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