A Most Questionable Gift: The Italian Construction Company Gitto's Church Gift To Jonathan-ThisDay Editorial

Inside the 2,500 seater church donated by Italian Construction company awarded 2nd Niger Bridge contract
By Thisday Newspaper Editors

At the recent dedication of a 2,500-seat church building in Otuoke, his village in Bayelsa State, President Goodluck Jonathan said the edifice was donated to him by the Abuja-based Italian construction company, Gitto Construzioni Generali Nigeria Limited (GCG). According to the president, the managing director of Gitto made him a promise to build and donate the church to Otuoke community after he (the president) had complained of the aging structure of his church, which apparently no longer befits the status of the president’s village. 

Whatever the motivation for this benevolence on the part of Gitto, we find it very disturbing indeed that the president could openly justify this sort of gift from a private company, whose various activities in the country have been mired in controversies. Using the authority of a public position to secure gifts is unacceptable for a president anywhere in the world and the code of conduct for public officials in Nigeria expressly forbids such.

Section 6 of the Code of Conduct for Public officers embodied in the First Schedule of the 1999 Constitution and the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act (CAP C15) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, indeed frown at what the president did. The Act states: “A public officer shall not ask for or accept any property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties. For the purposes of subsection (1) of this subsection, the receipt by a public officer of any gifts or benefits from commercial firms, business enterprises or persons who have CONTRACTS (emphasis ours) with the Government shall be presumed to have been received in contravention…unless the contrary is proved.”

Gitto is one of the major contractors to the federal government yet the manner in which the president spoke at the church thanksgiving service conveyed the impression that he actually solicited for the edifice since he openly voiced his concern to the hearing of the company’s managing director who apparently got the message. Of course there is the argument that it is only a church building but Gitto is not known to be a missionary outfit; it is a construction firm that bids for and wins contracts in Nigeria. Against the backdrop that the record of the company with regards to performance has left much to be desired, it becomes more obvious that the president goofed in accepting the questionable gift and worse still, that he would seek to justify it.

We note particularly that corruption thrives in Nigeria today because public officials do not know how and where to draw the line. It is therefore no surprise that some of these foreign construction companies do things they dare not try in their home countries. Gitto is surely no Santa Claus; it is a profit-seeking company accountable to its shareholders. When the company therefore spends millions of dollars on a “gift”, its management would expect returns so it is easy to understand why the costs of contracts in Nigeria are the highest in the world.

We particularly recall that the N58.6 billion contract for the construction of the second Niger Bridge was awarded to Gitto Group in a manner which recently prompted the South East Legislative Caucus in the National Assembly to petition President Jonathan, asking him to review it. There are also protests against Gitto from Akwa Ibom stakeholders on the way it is handling the Eket/Oron section of the East-West Road project while the Bodo-Bonny Road in Bayelsa State awarded the company in 2003 is today abandoned.

The foregoing controversies trailing the company that has just donated a church building to president’s village have been highlighted to buttress the fact that he is not in good company with Gitto. The Italian firm cannot whitewash its incompetence by building churches. And it is patently inappropriate for President Jonathan to have accepted the Greek Gift and proceeded to make a light show of it.




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SECT MEMBERS ARRESTED IN KATSINA. am glad jonathan eledu has been reseelad. now how about the scores of others arrested and still detained by the sss with out charge? like in katsina state the sss has recently arrested members of one hijiriyya sect because of the opinion they hold about their religion. this is akin to the fbi arresting mormons in utah for holding opinions counter to the mainstream christians. between 40 to 50 youths were arrested and incarcerated with no intention of charging them to court. stories coming out indicated that they were being tortured using water boarding techniques etc. of course the sss learned about water boarding from the cia. how preposterous in a democratic dispensation and to think the katsina state governor is a lawyer really beats me.freedom of expression is for all of us and the earlier we start fighting for it the better for all of us in the long run.keep on the good work solomomdelle

Churches gift

I have gone round sites 0f gitto construction in nigeria, he has not don any community development in dose area. Yyy mr presdent village?

u are a fool. idiot,bagger! u

u are a fool. idiot,bagger! u dont even knw wat ur talkin abt. angel commanders wil wipe idiots lyk u out of dis world b4 sendin boko haram,jonathan,ibb and all other naive n selfish bastards like them to hell

Deri d bigot!

U dnt hav to take this guy serious, Deri( probably means goat). His bias for discourse of state affairs is alarming. I'm Niger-Deltan like U. It surprises me how U cnt make a comment without getting Buhari, Tinubu or some none niger-deltan involved. U must be very myopic bcos seems to me U think d whole world revolves around ur swamp. I hav no doubts Jonathan has same uncommonly low IQ like U!

GEJ, how does this alleviate the sufferings of our ailing state?

The Italian company by virtue of their own ideaology of corporate social responsility have indeed shown that they are well accustomed to our big circle of lobbying and corruption. In my entire history of CSR, i havnt heard of a church rebuilding contribution, in your clients'(as it were) hometown. What happened to providing portable drinking water, what about schools, scholarships,ICT centres,road construction etc? Why did it have to be a church donation to the president? Our system is derailed and crippled, we need help in Nigeria. Ibori had to be tried abroad, cuz of the eminent failure of our judicial system, the SURE program is almost a blackout, our excess crude acounts figures keep dwindling without accurate explanation. Lord, please help us.

Jonathan is only confirming

Jonathan is only confirming Nigeria is a failed state by accepting this 'gift' (bribe).
What a big joke this man is.

The Cart Before The Horse- Jonathan's style

When the cart is put before the horse the expected motion becomes certainly retrogressive. It is a sad thing to note that the president either is an illiterate as it pertains to legal codes, or willfully disregards the law, or worst of all, is advised by a companion of mature fools. This is because this style of his is becoming unassumingly characteristic.
Little wonder, when mediocres are at the helms of affairs we think of luck; goodluck in particular.

The analogy you drew is not

The analogy you drew is not only vague and empty, it is also preposterous. Yerima was Governor to a State that is 99% Muslim. It is utterly outrageous to seek to confuse Jonathan's disregard for due laws of the land.

How ignorant and preposterous

The analogy you drew is not only vague and empty, it is also preposterous. Yerima was Governor to a State that is 99% Muslim. It is utterly outrageous to seek to confuse Jonathan's disregard for due laws of the land.

what do i like

i remember in the days of ahmed yerima sani bakura (the thick and long bearded child molester). in zamfara state, he built mosques at random. infaat, his biggest project was "provision of islamic warship (worship) centres" which he said was what his people like. as for me, i don't give a fu*k what nigerian government does. my daily guide has been (nothing good will ever come from nigeria to you except you take it by force) i assure you, it has worked for me always. so, learn to stop complaining.

And did church become a

And did church become a social amenity? You α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ a fool guy. No food, no good water, no good road, no job, you α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ there making noise on a church. An hungry man will forget about God, not even those heartless ones, they would kill to get money for feeding and others. Ƨ̷̜̩̌̋o​ now tell me O̶̷̩̥̊͡ƒ what need will †ђξ church be to pple like that.

Iam not supprised, Jonathan

Iam not supprised, Jonathan na suwegbe local Ijaw man. Hes a fake proffesor of our time. He open mouth gbosa and talk sny how. Even the way he looks is some thing else. Hes a disgrace to south south. Hes s looter and big time lier. He got Ph.d to lies all the time. The man is a real dummy

Stop sentimental comment

This is simple the church is for jonathan not God becos if it were for God it could be situated else where and stil serves its purpose and not necessary to be built in otuoke where jona hail from

@Deri and others like him

Jonathan is a lucky man, there is no doubt about that. He is so lucky to be ruling fools who does not understand democracy and how it works. He is lucky to be leading a foolish black nation where both educated and uneducated illiterates think alike. If it were a country with well informed people, his impeachment procedure must have been on progress by now. Madam umblerra and Fake Dr Jonathan, una well done, more grease to una elbows. And to my foolish Nigerians continue wallowing in poverty and supporting all those ruining u. To my dear brother Deri and others like him, may ur entire life and that of ur unborn children be ruled the way our great leader Jonathan is ruling Nigeria, amen.

the italian connection

GEJ is clueless. he should have rejected the gift after all the company will not pull down the building. it should have been a gift to the community. this was a wrong move politically. i score him 2/10 for been naive.


What is corporate responsibility in donating a church instead of school or library or even health centre...why church? This is corruption and nothing else my fellow Nigerians

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Touch Johnathan and Touch death.

From Today April 05, 2012 This is a warning to all Nigerians, including ACN Party. Stop threating President Johnathan from now any tongue that raised against him that tongue is condemned. During OBJ regime how many Billions of Custom Duty Waiver he gave to Lagos based churches? You have numbered your known Billionaires even unknown are of 100s from North and West. Where are those from old Eastern Nigeria? You sent our children to hell. Stop it now or Christ Commanders Angels will wipe out of this world. Johnathan didnt fall from heaven.Even Boko Harams and all militants and their fathers you all are under arrest from now.

Always Naija

When are we going to have a change of heart on corruption? Hmmm...

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Wake Up Call

We encourage companies to develop their host communities; don't we?
Should I say: no, thanks, to a company that offer to build a public structure in my community out of the profit it has accumulated from d community?
It becomes a different thing if it thwarts my further decision.
What about governors that are paying mallams, building Islamic schools, Mosque, pay hisbah, bribe men to marry widows (only to divorce again),sponsor terrorist with state money?
Is this a form of witch-hunting?
By extension, I call on all African leaders to resign or be impeached for soliciting and accepting a conference center worth millions of dollars built by China (major contractor in Africa) in Ethiopia.

Corruption is Corruption

Gentle man, I know u r from Bayelsa. That's why u will forever stand to defend corruption. Even if d church is 1 person capacity, corruption is corruption. The president should be d last to break the laws of d land, publicly.

Wanted! A National Ethic

Wanted! Wanted!! Wanted!!! A National Ethic.And this is the link < http://marysroseorg.hubpages.com/hub/LETS-MOVE-THIS-GIANT-FORWARD>. But I am reducing the pledge from #10Billion to #2Billion.

Pls always get ur fact before

Pls always get ur fact before going to press, first this church can only sit 200 not 2500 as publish and the was refurbish not rebult as stated.

Hey are yu normal? The

Hey are yu normal? The president of Nigeria is admitting that a church was built for his village by a federal contractor and you see nothing wrong in that? God save us then!


Nigga shut up your mouth if u don't have anything to say... You must be a capital fool to ask what the church will do to the poor. Is fools like you that will sit down and expect every damn thing. You had gut to tell someone to stop exposing his stupidity when u are stupidity personified. If u ever make a statement here something will fall and press you... Ozuwoooo like you

gitto SPA

The gift jonathan received from italian gitto construction company make him worse than boko haram.This are the same people that brought chemical waste from the same italy to old koko in Bendel statein 1986.Its time we all rise up to kill all this bastad.Wish way nigeria are we going

The matter is concluded.

Before this news item, I used to give Goodluck Jonathan a certain leeway. Some rope to pull. That somehow, he will be different from the others. No. This is it. Jonathan is not different from any ruler that has ruled Nigeria. He did this in the open glare. The mind is then left to wander what happens in the privacy of cloaked chambers. It never mattered to me that he was from the South-South. This just proves the point over and over again. A thief is a thief is a thief. It does not matter whether you are Hausa, Yoruba,Igbo,Ijaw or Tivi. How do Nigerians keep surviving the serial raping from its leaders.....over and over and over again. What a people, what a country.

@abdul--good work mr presido-more of such

Did danjuma not donate over 20m to enable buhari rent an office complex for his party the CPC in abuja? There is practically nothing wrong with what the firm did. Its part of the corporate responsibility of firms operating in the niger delta to provide basic social services to the people suffering in the oil bearing communities. Go through the entire state and see if you would be able to find a church befitting the status of the president? If shell had renovatd a primary school building would you have made all the noise u are making now? Hope Rueben Aabti would not come up with press statements on this matter again ooh-0ja ppl bad belle for a church again?


Issue like this should be treated with extreme neutrality if what is happening to the life of common man in Nigeria requires solution, if Nigeria as a country is expected to develop and even maintain the status of a regional power and if we need to self sustained otherwise, the leaders and followers in Nigeria are flocking to the same direction. Let us call a spade a spade, there are millions of old churches in Nigeria not only in Jonathan' village if not for the status of President Jonathan and all other secrete an ordinary Nigeria may not be opportune to discover at the moment, no European International Company will ever give such free gift for nothing in return not at this point in time when Italy itself is struggling to free itself from economic depression through a bailout from EU.Let us all be objective to promote goodness, more churches is not our needs, we should look beyond trivial gift similar to bribery at the expense of the poor Nigerians