By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said it was set to commence payment of contractors owed N20 million and below.
This is as the commission assured its contractors and consultants that henceforth their payments would be paid promptly without unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks.
The NDDC Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration (EDFA), Mr. Chris Amadi, gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the palace of Eze Apara Rebisi of Port Harcourt, Eze Victor Woluchem XII.
Amadi said the NDDC was poised to ensure that a more efficient process was applied in paying for projects and meeting contractor obligations.
He said: “In a couple of days, we are going to start payment to contractors owed between N20 million and below. There will be no need for contractors and consultants to come to the NDDC before they can get their payments. They can simply stay in their homes or offices and give us the necessary information.
“On resumption, I have directed to ensure we live up to our contractual obligations. In fact, on Wednesday, we will start the payment of contractors we owe less than N20 million and in two weeks’ time, the story with be different.”
The executive director said the new management had resolved to fully discharge the NDDC mandate and intervene in specific projects that would impact the lives of the majority of the people. “We want to right some wrongs and ensure that never again will our people suffer in the midst of plenty,” he said.
According to Amadi, “Ikwerre people are a dominant ethnic group in Rivers State. From available statistics Ikwerre has over 55 per cent of the voting population of the state.” He regretted that the ethnic group, with high political sensitivities, never had an opportunity to be in the board or executive level of the NDDC, even from the days of the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC).
He stated further: “My appointment means a lot to the Ikwerre people. They are very happy and I am also happy and humbled. We are very grateful to our leader, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, for finding me worthy of recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari for this appointment.”
Receiving the NDDC EDFA, the Port Harcourt monarch, Eze Woluchem, congratulated Amadi on his appointment, describing it as breaking the glass ceiling for Ikwerre people.
He noted: “As the landlord of the NDDC headquarters, I have been pained in the past because Ikwerre is the dominant ethnic group in Rivers state and we have several oil wells. I don’t know why it took so long to have an Ikwerre son in the executive management of NDDC.”
Earlier, the Ikwerre Chiefs and Elders Forum had gathered at a reception for the NDDC Executive Director Finance and Administration at the Autograph Event centre in Port Harcourt.
The Chairman of the forum, Chief Sonny Dike, thanked President Buhari and the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, for elevating their son to an executive position in NDDC. He appealed to Ikwerre people to support their brother to succeed, stating that “no one succeeds without the advice of elders.”