*We paid between N2000 to N5000 to acquire training— Women lament
*It’s not time for sharing of money yet— Contractor
By Chinonso Alozie, OWERRI
A contractor, Gerald Frank Nigeria Limited, has allegedly failed to disburse the N5 million released to the firm in February 2020, for the empowerment of women on skills Acquisition/Training Programme in Poultry/Feeds in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency in Imo State, currently represented by Uju Kingsley.
Vanguard in Owerri on Saturday monitored the visit of a team of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, led by Stephen Obi, to the Mgbrichi Community affected constituency to find if the empowerment money was paid to the women.
But the women said the contractor only collected their names, account numbers and have not paid anything into their account, this was after the women said they used their money to sponsor themselves to the poultry training.
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According to the list of would-be beneficiaries made available to Vanguard by Gerald Franks contact person, Donatus Nkwocha, numbered 40, including widows, the women said what was given to them was only N1000 each for the one-week training.
They also claimed they paid between N2000 to N5000 as a training fee to the poultry farm where they got trained.
Furthermore, Nkwocha, working as a contact person to the Contractor Gerald frank, has confirmed that Gerald Frank only gave him N40,000 to give to the women which he did.
Nkwocha said: “The only money he gave me was N40,000 to give to the women who were selected for the training.
“He directed me to give them each N1000 within the period they were on the training. I gave them the money.
“I collected the money in 2 batches, N20,000 for 20 people and another N20,000 for another 20 women. Apart from this amount he did not give me any other money.”
Some of the women who disclosed to Vanguard what they paid as a training fee to the poultry farm include; Ijeoma Iwezuo, N5000, Obiukwu Chidimma, N3000O Olerudu Magret, N3000, Echereodor Oluchi N5000, Amado Maureen, N2000 among others.
However, according to the ICPC, the contract was awarded “On 24 February 2020, the contract sum, 23,610,300.00.
“The amount was released in instalment on 19/09/2020, N3,541,545.00, on 23/09/2020, N1,458,455.00. The contractor, Gerald Frank Nigeria Limited, was contracted for a skills acquisition/training programme in Poultry/Feeds for selected women of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency in Imo State.
“It was an initiative by the member representing the constituency, Honourable Kingsley Uju.”
However, when Vanguard called the Contractor, Gerald Frank Nigeria Limited, he said: “This contract is N25 million.
“There is what is called the bill of quantity. You follow it based on the money that was given to you.
“A contract of N24 million and you brought N4 million, there are things that should be done first. So, what I want you to understand is that ‘given money’ comes later.
“For instance, when you get an award for a contract you do stamp duty, I paid N200,000 for that and that is part of the contract and the money is part of the contract.
“So what I want to tell you is that the stage for given out money has not reached.”