An advocacy group, Niger Delta Peace Dialogue Initiative, NDPDI, has described as tissues of lies the allegations of $25 million and $2 million bribe taking against the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Local Content Development and Monitoring Board, Chief Simbi Wabote, respectively.
The group comprising ex militant leaders and stakeholders in the nine Niger Delta states, coordinated by Fiawei Pathfinder, at a meeting in Warri, Delta state, said: “The purported acceptance of $25 million bribe from an Italian oil giant, Saipem, against Chief Sylva to enable the company participate in the Bonny NLNG Train 7 project and the claim that Chief Simbi Wabote collected $2million from Kelvion, a German equipment manufacturing company are false, provocative and pathetic way of dragging Niger Delta finest in murky waters of politics.”
“The blackmailers alleged on the social media and other media platforms that Minister of Petroleum collected $25 million bribe from Saipem to enable them participate in the Bonny NLNG Train 7 project that cost almost $12 billion to the Federal Government of Nigeria have no iota of truth.
“These blatant lies are handiwork of failed and frustrated politicians who are just been naive and malicious to portray the hard working Minister in bad light because they are being sieved out of relevance and stopped from perpetrating their corrupt practices at the detriment of innocent Niger Deltans,” they said.
On the allegation leveled against Wabote, the group asserted; “We say that since his appointment, his expertise in oil and gas matters has made him to add glamour to the nation’s oil and gas industry that is currently recognized and respected globally. His administrative pattern and transparency mix have led to the successful completion and commissioning of the iconic Local Content edifice in the heart of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.”
“With his patriotic approach to leadership and implementation of the Local Content Act, indigenous contractors have a sense of belonging in the nation’s oil and gas industry as they are executing major contracts which are rare.
“His astuteness has made him to record monumental success, which also had led to the smooth approval, licensing and construction of modular refineries by our Niger Delta sons from the creeks as approved by DPR and NNPC in collaboration with the Minister of Petroleum as a team player and good listener who has synergized with the minister at all times in achieving greatly on his mandate,” they asserted.