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Minister, former NCDMB boss clash over $500 million  investments, budget padding

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, and the former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, have disagreed over $500 million investments made during the latter’s tenure.

In a statement issued by Lokpobiri on Tuesday through his media aide, Nnaemeka Okafor, the Minister said that NCDMB under the leadership of  Wabote “wasted” over $500 million of the industry’s fund on equity investments, private establishments, and non-performing loans.

The Minister had earlier alleged that Wabote paid $35 million for the Brass modular refinery in Bayelsa State without anything to show for it.

He had also alleged that $20 million was paid for a fertilizer factory that was yet to materialize.

He had claimed that approximately $350 million was transferred to the Bank of Industry by the board to provide loans to investors, asserting that the funds were mismanaged with 90% of the loans non-performing.

On his part, the former NCDMB boss, Simbi Wabote, had also allleged that Lokpobiri’s “reckless statements”  in the past months were not new to him.

He said,

In Lokpobiri’s statement on Tuesday, the Minister noted that investigations are ongoing and that all funds belonging to the generality of Nigerians will be recovered.

According to him, if Mr. Wabote has proof of budget padding accusations, he should provide it to the public.

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