By Osondu Ahirika
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has faulted the leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, on the shoddy execution and evaluation of projects executed by the agency in in Akwa Ibom State .
Pastor Usani who undertook an inspection tour of ongoing projects by the NDDC which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the state on the heels of the outcry by some interest groups in the state on the spate of abandoned NDDC projects in the state, was accompanied by commissioner for works, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Ephraim inyangeyen and his team.
The minister’s first point of call was a female hostel at the permanent site of the University of Uyo which has been halted following complaints of poor soil profiling and analysis frowned at the poor conception and faulty design of the project explaining that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will not tolerate shoddy execution of projects and warned against risking the lives of students in the event of a collapse of the building if the right thing is not done.
He directed officials of the NDDC supervising the project to forward a comprehensive updated report on the project to his office and the way forward for the project.
At the site of the Ikot Akpatek road and bridge abandoned by the Niger Delta Development Commission in Onna LGA which was listed as completed by NDDC, Pastor Usani expressed disappointment that the NDDC leadership will okay a list of purportedly completed NDDC projects when the management has not verified the claims. He also expressed worry that the NDDC engineers attached to the project were not forthcoming on why the project which was awarded in 2005 was abandoned and published as completed in 2017.
In his reaction, Pastor Usani said, “From what is on ground here, it shows the MD NDDC(Mr Nsima Ekere) needs to visit these project sites to see things for himself. It appears the reports he is getting in the office does not reflect what is on ground. He needs to work with the state government to ensure there are no duplication of projects. We all need to work together. There is need for synergy. ”
Pastor Usani however assured that, having directed the agency to furnish his ministry with a comprehensive report, he will work in line with the vision of President Buhari to raise the matters arising at the federal executive meeting for proper deliberation. Pastor Usani argued that, a situation where the federal government has ploughed in as much as 3 trillion in the NDDC over the years with so little to show for it and no meaningful impact on the Niger delta region is unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue. The minister also threatened that all contractors found to have compromised or are incompetent to handle the projects awarded to them will answer for their shortcomings in line with President Buhari’s anti corruption campaign.
It will be recalled that, some interest groups and the Akwa Ibom State government have Top alarm in recent times about false claims by the NDDC on supposedly completed projects which the agency caused to be published in some National dailies which was faulted as not only untrue, but in several cases a clear-cut claim of projects executed by the Akwa Ibom State government by the commission.