By Iteveh Ekpokpobe
The last of allegations on contract inflation and bogus spending have not been heard of Delta State Permanent Secretary, Mr. Eddy Ogidi-Gbegbaje, in charge of Government House and protocol and by extension the Senator Ifeanyi Okowa led government.
A memo intercepted by this news medium details how a whooping sum of N52, 662,330 million was spent in purchasing wireless microphones for the Exco Chamber of the New Government House.
The memo with file number File no: GHA.30/ T8/28-31 signed by Mr. Eddy Ogidi-Gbegbaje is titled, “Procurement and Installation of Dicentis Wireless (Bosch) Conference Discussion and Public Address System in the Exco Chamber of the New Government House.”
As contained there-in, the anticipated expenditure was met from Head 467A, Sub Head One- Construction of governor’s office, New Government House in the 2017 budget.
The Permanent Secretary had told the governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, that the conference discussion system in the exco chambers of the new government house was bad, leading to frequent and embarrassing interruption of meetings.
According to him, “inquiry into the status of the system currently in place revealed that the technology has actually been phased out having attained end of life.”
“Consequently a detailed assessment and market survey were conducted to obtain the actual cost of purchasing and installing the equipment by direct purchase/ labour.”
He said, “the survey revealed that the sum of N52,662,330 million only would be required to install the state of the art Dicentis wireless (BOSCH) conference system at the exco chamber.”
The Project was eventually approved by the state governor for N52,192,000 million following the recommendation of the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr. Barry Gbe and the Secretary to Delta State Government, Mr. Chiedu Ebie.
Meanwhile, a Source within the government house said the project was handled by the office of the Permanent Secretary in partnership with the Commissioner for Special Duties, Government House, Mr Henry Siakpra.
A market research for the items listed in the memo place the microphones at N299,186 per set at the current dollar to naira exchange rate.
In essence, six to eight million naira would conveniently execute the project placed at N52 million.
This lavishness comes even as Deltans continue to languish in pains due to the high rates of poverty, unemployment and poor infrastructural development in the ‘big heart state’.
Calls and text messages placed to both the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Henry Siakpra and his Economic Planning Counterpart were not answered.
However, the Permanent Secretary Government House, Mr. Eddy Ogidi-Gbegbaje who spoke to the reporter said similar enquiries have been made on the project by journalists.
He said a report was already published whose link he promised to send to the reporter.
When asked his reaction to the details he said, “I don’t want to be quoted out of context.”