By AKOMA CHINWEOKE
National coordinator of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Dr. Magnus Kpakol, has expressed shock over allegations ofÂ N2.4 billionÂ fraudÂ leveled against his agency, insisting that theÂ tri-cycles purchased with the moneyÂ went through due process.
Addressing journalistsÂ in Lagos shortly after an inspection tour of facilities at Autobahn Techniques Limited, Kpakol said if there was any fraud as alleged, the agency would not have been able to purchase the 5,000 tricyclesÂ to supply to theÂ public.
â€œI would urge you to go and tell everybody that there is no fraud. I donâ€™t know where they got this idea from that somehow the money was not paid. Some people haveÂ said there is a problem because the money was paid without approval. It is not possible for my office to pay N2.4billion without approval. The approval was based on what we had at the beginning.
In the first phase,Â the president wantedÂ to make sure that young men and women in Nigeria were out of poverty and thisÂ was one method that he wanted to use and he followed theÂ laws and procedures that he was supposed to follow in making sure that the products were suppliedÂ very quicklyâ€.
â€œWe made the payment backed by a Union Bank bond so that not one penny of it would be lost and the money was not disbursed in increment to the suppliers. So, at no time whatsoever was any impropriety committed. Nobody stole any money, nobody was about to steal any money. No Keke is lost. The spare parts are intact. So, it is really surprising to meÂ that all the stories in the papers say the same things that are wrong.â€
HeÂ explained that his mission in Lagos was to meet with Keke Owners and Riders Association to be sure that they are picking up the tri-cycle spare parts as they come, adding that the agency wantsÂ to give confidence to the people of Nigeria that they are handling the responsibility given to them effectively.