NDDC Inaugurates Two Road Projects in Delta State
*Ministry beams searchlight on N200bn contracts awarded by former commission’s boss
*Umana assures flood victims of intervention
Sylvester Idowu in Warri and Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) yesterday inaugurated two road projects in Sapele, Sapele Local Government area of Delta State.
The inaugurated projects were the four-kilometer Akporjevughe road and 2.5 kilometer Oghene road both in Sapele town.
Speaking at the inauguration of the road projects, the Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDDC, Dr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua said the roads were constructed as part of the mandates of the commission as an interventionist agency.
He disclosed that construction of Akporjevughe road was awarded on June 30th, 2018, while that of Oghene road was awarded on March 2019, to Messrs Solid FFLO Ashpalt company Nigeria Limited.
“Before the award of the projects, Akporjevughe road, Doyanbi Lane, Alfred Jonah School road, Omoire Ojigwo road were swampy and in unbelievable bad state, prone to perennial flooding.
“The road cut across eight major roads/streets with a total length of four kilometers.
“Similarly, Oghene road which was also in a very bad state prior to the award has a cumulative length of 2.5 kilometers made up of Oghene road which is the main alignment and nine other spurs. With the completion of the projects, the story has changed for the better for the residents and commuters,” he said.
Audu-Ohwavborua stated that the NDDC, over the years, executed notable infrastructural development projects across the Niger Delta region as part of its mandate with Delta State having its own far share of awards with a good number of completed projects and many ongoing.
“Sapele Local Government has benefited about 103 projects awarded while Sapele town, the headquarters of Sapele LGA has 63 projects awarded, many of which had been completed,” he added.
He urged the youths to sustain the current peace across the region noting that no meaningful development could take place without peace.
The NDDC boss thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and Chairman, House Committee in Niger Delta, Hon. Tunji Ojo for their tremendous assistance and cooperation in the implementation of the Committee’s mandate.
Member, representing Okpe/Sapele/Uvwie in the House of Representatives, Hon. Efe Afe commended the NDDC for its developmental projects executed in his constituency and urged the Commission to do more for his people.
He also expressed appreciation to the contractor for executing a standard work and urged the residents and commuters to ensure the cleanliness of the drainage attached to the roads.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Umana has condemned the award of over N200 billion contracts by the immediate past Interim Administration of the NDDC without due process.
This was just as the Minister has assured flood victims across the Niger Delta region that there would be a comprehensive intervention to ameliorate their sufferings.
Umana who spoke yesterday, while addressing the management and staff of the NDDC at the headquarters in Port Harcourt, noted that it is unruly for an administrator to award a contract without adherence to provisions of the Procurement Act.
He stated that he would no longer tolerate such excesses where one man would selfishly control the Commission without reference to the Ministerial Tenders Board or Tenders Board of the Commission or even the Federal Executive Council.
Umana stressed: “Today, I am having engagement with management and staff of the NDDC led by the Acting Managing Director, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua on how to reposition the commission in line with the expectations of Mr. President.
“We did an assessment on what in our opinion has impeded the commission from achieving the mandates as was expected of it. I also informed the management and staff that moving forward we expect that things should be done differently so that the people of the region can have full value for the reason and purpose of which the Commission was created.
“We have emphasised the need for full compliance with the provisions of the Procurement Act because the lack adherence to the Procurement Act led to the excesses.
“A situation where one man could sit down and award contracts of N200 billion, N300 billion with no reference to the Ministerial Tenders Board or even the Tenders Board of the Commission or Federal Executive Council.
“I have made it clear that it will no longer be tolerated and also if anyone indulge in award of contracts without due process will be held accountable.
“Mr. President has directed that any violation of the procurement act must be dealt with. This means that nobody on their own exhausts the provision of a whole body,” he said.
Speaking earlier, during a working tour of one of the flood devastated areas at Ihuike Community in Ahoada East Local Government Area, Rivers State, Umana expressed shock at the level of devastation, pledging that the federal government through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC would commence remedial action on the road.
Umana said: “I have directed the NDDC to engage SETRACO, the construction company working on the road, to quickly assess the damages at the Ahoada section of the East West Road, so that they can commence remedial repairs to restore the link between Rivers and Bayelsa States.”
He said his Ministry was collaborating with the NDDC, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and other federal government parastatals and state governments to offer medical and infrastructural assistance to impacted communities in the affected states.