The Managing Director of Cross River Basin Development Authority has been suspended from office by the board of the agency.
Bassey Nkposong was suspended on Thursday after an ad-hoc committee which looked into how the agency was being run accused him of irregularities in the award of N250 million worth of contracts and other “breaches.”
The committee was set up by the board in September 2019.
“The committee observed from the various breaches that the Managing Director has advertently arrogated to himself the status of a sole administrator regardless of the extant provisions of the Establishment Act of the Authority,” the committee noted in its report which was submitted in February 2020, five months after it was set up.
“The above scenario has led to many breaches where contracts which clearly overshoot the N250million threshold of the PBT are illegally split, to sidestep being referred to the Ministerial Tender Board.
“Contract splitting is a criminal act that must not be condoned in whatever guise,” the report added.
The committee report was forwarded by the board to the managing director, Mr Nkposong for his response, in February.
Mr Nkposong, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, did not file a response with the board.
Five months after, the board, through its Chairman, Eseme Eyiboh, on July 20, queried him.
Mr Nkposong, again, refused to respond to the board.
Mr Nkposong, on Friday, told PREMIUM TIMES he did not receive any query or suspension letter from the board. He also said he was not aware of the ad-hoc committee set up by the board.
“I am a board member,” he said.
“Cross River Basin Development Authority is under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, and that is where we take directives from,” he added.
A member of the board, Lazarus Undie, laughed over it when PREMIUM TIMES told him Mr Nkposong said he (Nkposong) was not aware of the suspension.
“Well, let’s see how he goes about it, he has been suspended. He was served (with the suspension letter),” Mr Undie, a lawyer, said.
In its letter notifying the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, of Mr Nkposong’s suspension, the board requested the minister to set up a panel to audit the ad-hoc committee’s findings.
Cross River Basin Development Authority, one of the 12 River basin development authorities in Nigeria, was established in 1976 to, among other things, help develop water resources and control flood and erosion in the areas within its jurisdiction which today has been reduced to only Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.