Bayelsa Govt: NDDC Boss’ Outburst over Ongoing Projects Unnecessary

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government monday stated that the ‘outburst’ of the Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, over ownership of road projects going on in the state was unnecessary and premeditated.

A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, condemned attempts by those he described as “emotionally and politically challenged” to discredit the government.

The commission’s MD had described as untrue and shocking recent claims by the Bayelsa State Government that it was intervening on the roads which the agency was working on.

“Such deliberate falsehood erodes public trust in authorities,”,the NDDC CEO said, emphasising that the emergency work was meant to relieve the government of some infrastructure burden.
“The commission had expected that the government of Bayelsa State would, in best practice, emulate its Cross River and Akwa Ibom States counterparts in commending the commission. Or, where it lacked the courage to attribute credit to NDDC, would keep quiet than spreading misinformation,” Semenitari added.

Semenitari expressed disbelief that though the Bayelsa State Government knew the truth, it chose to hide it from the public, noting that such style of governance erodes confidence in government and ridicules the tenets of probity.

But the Bayelsa government said yesterday that out of the over 52 internal roads, the NDDC was only working on 14, while the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure was undertaking repair works on the others.

The commissioner drew the attention of the people to the project inspection embarked upon by the governor on Saturday as a clear indication that so many construction and rehabilitation work are currently ongoing.

Obuebite while commending the NDDC for the intervention however pointed out that the misunderstanding would not have come up if the commission had before embarking on the road repairs liaised with the state government through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.

“Such collaboration will prevent duplication and afford the NDDC the needed information on areas to concentrate on and with that this needless media outburst would have been avoided.

Describing the words used by the NDDC boss as “uncouth,” the Bayelsa government maintained that the outburst was unnecessary and smacked of a premeditated grievance.

“Despite the report it was totally uncalled for to express such uncharitable words on the honourable commissioner and the government.

“Ibim herself was a former commissioner for information and on several occasions must have said something contestable. It is sad that she went that far,” the government said.