N20.8 MILLION NOT APPROVED FOR GHOST OFFICIALS; SPURIOUS, SMEAR CAMPAIGN – IKPASAJA
Following the misinformation in the Vanguard Newspaper of Tuesday, September 1, 2015 titled, “Auditors probe ex-minister’s travelling allowance: Allegedly approved N20.8 million for ghost officials”, the media aide of the ex-minister of works, Tony Ikpasaja has since dismissed the allegation as spurious and a smear campaign to tarnish the image of the minister who worked very hard to bring about positive change in the Road Sector.
Following the establishment of a full-fledged department of Public Private Partnership (PPP) at the ministry of works and the identified need for a paradigm shift in funding road infrastructure development in Nigeria, the PPP department routinely participated in infrastructure conferences to showcase investment opportunities in the road sector in Nigeria to international and local investors, and the World Infrastructure Summit 2011, Paris was one of such conferences.
As part of efforts to get the buy-in of key stakeholders in the proposed Road Sector Reforms, members of the National Assembly committees on works were made to be part of some of these conferences.
The alleged four ‘ghost’ officials were verifiably the two senators who represented the Senate committee on works and the two members of the House of Representatives committee on works.
The payment of the participation fees for the conference was collected and paid by the then director of Public Private Partnership, who initiated the memo that was approved and is still in the ministry of works till date.
Similarly, the wife of the ex-minister was invited to lead a team of women in the ministry to attend the Dubai master class for women executives on “Innovative leadership strategies for a changing world – The mission critical agenda for women” in December 2011. She led the team to the conference and was accompanied by her Aide.
The above clarifications have been made to set the records straight and disabuse the mind of the public. The ex-minister regrets to have to deal with such matter through the press where the allegation emanated from.
Signed: Tony Ikpasaja;
SA Media to the Ex-Minister of Works