Over time, in Nigeria, it has become a common practice for opportunists in most cases politicians, to connive with their cronies to swindle and waste taxpayers money using wealth creation and social empowerment programs as a guise.
This scenario played out when the Delta State government used Doings TV, an internet Television Platform owned by a popular Nigerian Comedian called Mr Jollof, to waste state funds under the guise of providing a platform for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to showcase their businesses.
In a document obtained by SecretReporters which has government Tracking Number 128921, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Chiedu Ebie on December 10, 2019, acting on a request by Doings TV limited wrote to Mr Ifeanyi Okowa for the approval of a N23Million sponsorship to host the 1st edition of “SME EXPO AND CHRISTMAS FUN FAIR” held on December 29, 2019, at the NNPC housing complex, Ekpan.
The SSG subsequently recommended to the State Governor to approve the sum of N15,000,000 (Fifteen Million Naira) as the State Government’s financial assistance towards the event.
Thereafter, the sum of N10, 000,000 (Ten Million Naira) was officially approved by the governor nine days to the Christmas fun fair as a major sponsor of the event.
Perhaps, seeing that there is no mechanism for checks and balances set in place to blow open their fraudulent activities, the approved sum documented under IPSAS code Number 011101300100/22040109 was recorded as Grants to communities, NGOs/FBOs/CBOs in the 2019 approved budget.
Surprisingly, the 2-sector event proposed to be a Small and Medium Scale Enterprise exhibition (SME EXPO/shopping festival) to showcase small business potentials in Delta State and a kids Christmas Fun Fair turned out to be a 3-sector event with the addition of ‘The party’ to the menu tagged “The Rich and Famous Party” as seen via adverts and video montage on their Instagram handle @doingstvofficial.
A regular ticket at the party we learned for Adults sold at N5,000, kids at N2,000 and VIP tickets as high as N10,000. Gold table for 10 sold for a whopping sum of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) while a platinum table went for N1,000,000 (Million Naira) each.
With no proof of any SME expos ever taking place at the party, many especially taxpayers in Delta State opine that such funds coming from the office of the state government should be fully utilized in solving pertinent problems hampering the state rather than being wasted on flamboyant projects.
Calls placed to the state Governor’s CPS Olisa Ifeajika never connected and he didn’t reply to SMS sent to him as at press time.