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$500m wasted on private investments in NCDMB, minister insists

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri yesterday insisted that the past leadership of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB)…

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri yesterday insisted that the past leadership of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) wasted over $500 million of the industry’s fund in equity investments in private establishments and loans that are now non-performing. 

He had earlier made the statement at The Petroleum Club’s quarterly event in Lagos. 

But the former NCDMB Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote had accused the minister’s office of demanding an increase of NCDMB’s budget to his office by N30 billion. 

However, the minister, in a statement by his media aide, Nneamaka Okafor, dismissed as blatant lies, the claims that his office made such a request. 

He challenged the Wabote to provide evidence for the alleged request. 

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He said, “Our position is that he who alleges must prove same. So, if Mr Wabote has proof of such a conversation, he is challenged to provide the same. 

“The minister in his capacity as chairman of the governing council stands by his statement at The Petroleum Club’s quarterly event in Lagos. 

 “The said Atlantic Refinery was supposed to be built in Mr Wabote’s home town, he should show Nigerians where that refinery is.” 

The statement noted that investigations were ongoing and the truth would surely come to light and monies belonging to the generality of Nigerians would be recovered. 

The former Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote debunked the minister’s statement describing it as reckless. 

Wabote accused the minister of playing politics while challenging him to visit the sites of the projects the agency invested in. 

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