N10bn Abia Airport: The Truth We Found Out [Documents]

Abia

Amidst the raging debate about the N10bn purportedly spent by the previous Abia State government on airport, we took a deep dive into what transpired and unearthed several documents to support our position.

While it’s true that the past administration had proposed to spend the said sum in the construction of an airport, the project didn’t see the light of the day as the then State Executive Council opted to use the N10bn to complete the numerous ongoing projects in the state, because according to them, the fund won’t be enough to execute the project and the existence of Uyo and Owerri airports might make the Abia Airport economically unviable.

In their meeting of 13th November, 2020, the State Executive Council meeting, set aside the earlier proposal for an airport and said the funds (the controversial 10 billion Naira) will be used for construction of roads in the state.

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At this time, the bank had already processed the 10billion naira loan facility to Ferotex construction ostensibly for the airport construction.

Abia government via a letter by the secretary to the state government dated September 25th, 2020, gave the consultancy job for the various road projects in the state to FEROTEX construction company.

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This was followed by a letter from the former governor, Ikpeazu to the Commissioner for works, directing the commissioner to work with the Managing Director of Ferotex construction company to ensure that the funds are reapplied to the ‘ONGOING’ projects in the state.

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According to the contract agreement, Abia State government said they’ve “chosen Ferotex Construction Company Limited (the Consultant) as the ‘Contractor Financier’ to fund the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure in different parts of Abia State.

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“The Consultant is a Grade A construction Company that has the necessary competences in the design, construction and maintenance of road infrastructure and a major contractor to the Abia State Government with a proven track record of honesty and integrity.”

In the agreement, Ferotex the ‘consultant’ was given the power to “procure a loan of the sum of N10,000,000,000.00 (ten billion Naira) ‘contractor financing’ from the UBA Plc to be guaranteed by the Abia State Government.

“The consultant shall disburse the said funds in line with the approval of the Abia State Government as contained in the document herein attach as an Annexure ‘A’.

“The consultant shall superintend in conjunction with the engineers of the Ministry the use of the funds by the contractors ensuring that appropriate materials in terms of asphalt and stone base are utilized and that the agreed milestones are achieved by the designated contractors.

“The Consultant shall periodically report on the execution of the terms of this Memorandum of Understanding to the Ministry through the Office of the Commissioner, Ministry of Works.

“The Ministry has the final decision on any issues raised bythe consultant on the implementation of the terms of this Memorandum of Understanding.”

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According to another document available to us, the approval for withdrawal from the Ferotex account started on 26th November 2020.

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It was also gathered that all the companies which executed the projects went through the processes and were given their award letters.

Below are some of the letters for the award of the contract for the projects:

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The agreement between the State government and Ferotex midwifed the completion of various ongoing projects in the state, including the Osisioma Flyover.

We also learnt that in line with the terms of the contract, disbursement of funds was done through an approval in writing from the state ministry of works after the consultant is satisfied that a particular milestone equal to the sum paid had been achieved by the contractor.

According to the document we obtained, China Zonghghao which constructed Osisioma flyover Aba & ABSUTH Road Aba got N700,000,000. Trackcare Construction Company for Aba-Owerri Road Aba (Brass to Osisioma junction segment, Ururuka road Aba, Afor Ibeji/ Ubakala Umuahia, Stella Marris Catholic Church, etc got N1,150,000,000.

Ferotex Construction Company for Aba-Owerri Road (Railway Junction-Brass junction segment) Aba, Obohia Road Aba, Opobo Junction-Ukpakiri Ogbor-Hill Aba, Uratta Ugwuati, Itungwa, Rehabilitation of failed Ururuka got N1,000,000,000.

Shannah Jardon Construction Company for Okigwe Road Aba, Milverton Road Aba, Cemetery-Eziukwu Road Aba got N450,000,000. Ecklean: Osusu road Aba-N 200 000,000, Cosmos Construction Company for Immaculate Avenue Umungasi Aba got N150,000,000 while Setraco/Hartland for Port-Harcourt Road got N1,000,000,000.”

Further details are “⁠Rockwaters for Ohanku Road Aba, Okpu Umuobo Aba got N650,000,000, MOW for Ebenma Street Aba and Ovom street Aba got N1, 130,000,000. Zubbalco for MBUBO Umuakwu got N200,000,000.”

Other details showed that “Tunnel End Construction Company got N780,000,000 for the construction of Umuene-Obikabia, Umuojima-umuokiri- Ekeakpara, Umuakatawom-Eziama-Ohanze while Paceo Carretera company got – N312,000,000 for the construction of Agalaba Ring Road in Obingwa.”

From the same details, it showed that ⁠Delhope Construction Company got N557,000,000 for the construction of Umuobiakwa-Owo Road Obingwa, Federal Medical Centre internal road, Aba Road Umuahia (GG-Shoprite).

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It was also gathered that MOW got N325,000,000 for the construction of Umuobiakwa internal roads, umuobiakwa (Gov) roads, Mbawsi internal roads and desilting of Aba big gutter while ⁠⁠BOK construction got -N100,000,000 for the construction of Agbama Ring Road Umuahia.

Crystalkleen Construction for York/Jubilee/Nicholas street Aba got N30,000,000, Pumeco Construction for Aba road (Uchenna/ShopRite) Umuahia, Zero portholes in Umuahia roads got N353, 000,000, while Yodel construction for Afrata road, Umuahia got N100,000,000.

E&P for Trinity College Road Umuahia got N60,000,000 and Obitex Development Company Ltd for construction of Ohuhu road from Isiokata, diversion from the gully erosion at Isiokata to Umuawa Ohuhu to Nkwoegwu got N125,000,000.

More details provided show that Smutedge Company got N200,000,000 for the rehabilitation of failed portions of Umuikaa-Umuenne, Pacon Company got N12,000,000 for completion of drains at Ozuomba/Ohazu Road.

MOW Company for Zero potholes (Aba) got N 100,000,000, Charbel Company for Government House got 400,000,00 and the State Ministry of Public Utilities got N100,000,000 for Streetlights.

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Another breakdown of the date, company and amount sent to the various construction companies can be found below:

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Below are some of the pictures of the ongoing projects mentioned in the contract award letters and their level of completion.

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With all these information and documents, anyone interested in knowing the truth about the N10bn and the claim of diversion to personal accounts have all the pieces together and can solve the puzzle on where the fund truly went to.

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