The National Assembly had reportedly uncovered the alleged budget padding that over N4bn had been appropriated for various items including procurement of dredgers and other equipment between 2017 and 2019, for which N1.5bn was also proposed in NIWA’s 2020 proposal.
The lawmakers observed that N2.2bn was appropriated for the project in the 2018 and an additional N1bn in 2019
The Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Waterways, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, who spoke to journalists after the session, frowned on the various alleged infractions discovered in the successive budgets, while calling for a thorough investigation into the funds expended on the projects.
But in a swift rejoinder issued yesterday by Mr. Tayo Fadile, national spokesman for NIWA, the authority denied the allegationsThe Authority said that it was not involved in any such infractions.
The rejoinder read; “Our attention has been drawn to various publications including electronic and online social media platforms, alleging that NIWA was involved in 4 billion naira worth of fraudulent/non-existing projects.
“This is not true and does not reflect the position of the House Committee on Inland Waterways of the National Assembly.
“The National Freight Office at Idi-Iroko, Ogun State has absolutely nothing to do with NIWA.
“The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Honourable Minister of State, Transportation, and the MD of NIWA attended the budget defence and these allegations never arose.
“Finally, any further enquiry over this matter should be referred to the House Committee on Inland Waterways for further clarification,” the statement concluded.