N53.3B: A beneficiary`s cart before the horse

Source: huhuonline.com

N53.3B: A beneficiary`s cart before the horse
Some individuals, on the hill of Yar'Adua appointing Mrs. Farida Waziri EFCC Chairman, went to town prophesying how wonderfully she would turn the anti-graft agency to what it is supposed to be. We all have seen how 'marvelously' the EFCC is performing now.

If what the Senate Committee on Banking submitted is true, then among the vocal few that made the most noise as to the fantastic way Farida would perform, was a woman politician whose name has also appeared as one of the beneficiaries of the N53billion 'largesse' that crippled some of the dead Nigerian banks. This particular woman who had over N1billion against her name, had on President announcing Farida appointment, rushed to the media, giving testimonies on how she knew the woman of the EFCC and how she is endowed with impeccable character and penchant for fighting crime. “Mrs. Waziri will prove that women can perform better”, she affirmed. Unknown to the public that she was praise-singing Farida in advance for an incubating case; in order that Farida remembers to be kind when the chips are down. You now see why I say that the beneficiary had her horse before the cart. Now that the woman politician is involved, let Farida show her 'impeccable character' (prophesied by the woman) on the case.

I thank God that it was another woman, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu (the Chairman Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions) that busted the information to the public. The EFCC may have had this information with them and why they did not move into it before now should be suspect.

Chief Pius Umukoro, Effurum Road, Warri, Delta State

Julius Berger is not the only foreign construction company in Nigeria but its name continues a common denominator in most cloudy issues. Julius Berger is known to have had more than its fair share in construction contracts in Nigeria – at federal and state levels. It was that foreign construction company once described by an international Construction Magazine as having the largest construction site in the whole world; the publication referred to the company's site in Abuja, then.

Julius Berger has been fingered in many bad deals in Nigeria, yet the government has found it difficult to suspend patronizing this firm that most Nigerians know milks us dry, with the connivance of people in some people in power.

Some of the company's alleged sins: It was figured by the National Assembly in illegal mining and exportation of our mineral resources. It was the company that took in advance billions of Naira which it kept in an interest-yielding bank account for construction of a portion of the East-West Road; they abandoned the projects for years. It was fingered as a conduit for part of the Halliburton bribe money. It was alleged by the opposition that this company was used in bribing the Judges at the Apeal Court during the Akwa Ibom governorship proceedings. Again, on pages of national dailies July 15, 2009 was the report that it was dragged to Court by the Federal Government for disrespectfully importing contrabands into Nigeria; this is the height of criminal irresponsibility. Also JB does not treat its Nigerian workers with respect.

One then is asking to know whether this Julius Berger is indispensible. Why can't Nigerian Governments create their own indigenous construction giants by empowering many abound?

Engineer Tunde Abayomi, Adeola Odekun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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