Panama Construction Company Limited, a Delta State based construction company owned by prominent Niger Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clark has reacted to allegations of abandoning contracts awarded to it by the Niger Delta Ministry since 2011 after allegedly receiving downward payments.
According to a statement signed and released by one Engr. Okiemute Omo-Udoyo for the company, the contract in question valued at the sum of N1,434,400,664.69 was run in phases based on released funds so far.
Omo-Udoyo further explained that budgetary provisions for the contract stopped since 2015 and efforts to revive it proved abortive. However, funds were finally released early this year but work could not commence because of the COVID-19 lockdown. Upon the easing of the lockdown, mobilisation to the site commenced.
Read full statement below:
The attention of Panama Construction Company Limited has been drawn to a malicious, unfounded and mischievous news circulating on some social media platforms. Although this will not be the first time such falsehood is being peddled against our Company, Panama Construction Company Limited, we have deemed it necessary to respond this time, for as stated by the Nazi Joseph Gobbles “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth” and the “illusion of truth can be a dangerous weapon in the hands of propagandists”, especially when most of these propagandists, can avail themselves of the true story, if they chose to be fair and impartial because they have the opportunity of reaching all sides in the matter.
Panama Construction Company Limited is a limited liability Company in which Chief (Dr.) Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, OFR, CON, has interest.
The Company was awarded a contract for Land Reclamation and Shoreline Protection at Amadi Ama, in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council of Rivers State, in March, 2011, for the sum N1,434,400,664.69, by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
In accordance with the requirements, Panama Construction Company Limited obtained an Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) for the job. Anybody who is conversant with APG, knows that expenditures on such projects are carried out under the supervision of the Bank.
In October, 2013, Panama Construction Company Limited submitted Interim Payment Certificate (IPC) No. 1 for the sum of N78, 215, 815.13.
In June, 2015, Panama Construction Company Limited submitted IPC No. 2 for the sum of N156,683,034.24.
No budgetary provision was made for the project since 2015, despite repeated appeals to the Ministry.
It was only in December 2019 and March, 2020, just before the Covid-19 lockdown, that part releases were made for the two IPCs.
As soon as the Covid-19 lockdown was relaxed, we started mobilising to site and the Ministry is aware of this.
Some traducers had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, some time ago on this matter. The anti-graft agency carried out its investigation and did not find the Company wanting in anyway.
These rumour mongers have started again, still saying that Chief Clark collected the sum of N200 million, but has abandoned the job, without doing anything.
We want to sound a note of warning to all those who are spreading and commenting on these libellous and false news, that they should be prepared to substantiate their allegations in the Court.
Engr. Okiemute Omo-Udoyo
for Panama Construction Company Limited.