Revealed: How Lands Commissioner Squandered N400m meant for Govt Estate Project

...uses part of it to acquire luxury properties

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Just when alleged fraudulent ventures were being reported in the Akwa Ibom Ministry of Lands and Water Resources, stories of alleged kleptomaniac and misappropriation are also being reported.

The latest revelation indicates that the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor (Arc) Ime Ekpo is allegedly being enmeshed in scandalous squandering of public funds.

Real News gathered that the Ministry under his watch was mandated to handle a government housing estate project, known as Luxury Estate, at Ifa Ikot Akpan, Etoi, along Airport Road in Uyo.

A reliable government source told Real News that N400 million was recently released for the ministry to commence the project.

The source regretted that the situation was pitiful, as the commissioner may have diverted funds made for the projects.

When our correspondent visited the scene, evidence of expanded land clearing was in place, as a scanty fencing process was being left halfway.

Recall how the ministry was reportedly involved in indiscreet land disposition, using syndicates.

Speaking with our correspondent, a structural engineer, incidentally a staff of a state government parastetal, said job done at the site cannot exceed N50 million.

Pleading anonymity, the government employee expressed disapproval towards the attitude of the commissioner, saying if it was really true that such huge sum was released, then it would be unpatriotic for those who got the contract not to render commensurate service.

He maintained that such a project did not fall into the job schedule of the lands ministry, but should have been the responsibility of the ministry of housing and town planning.

Condemning a situation where private properties were being demolished without adequate payment of compensation, he also called on the lands and water resources commissioner to be accountable to government.

He reiterated that only transparency and accountability could show proof of judicious expenditure on the matter and build confidence among the citizens.

An attempt to get reactions from Arc Ime Ekpo was futile as calls sent to his phone lines remained unconnected.

Source: Real News

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