Pay Contractors to Complete Abandoned Projects in Abia, Otti Tells Niger Delta Ministry, NDDC

Alex Otti

Alex Otti

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The high number of projects left uncompleted by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) across Abia State has continued to generate much concerns in the state.

The state Governor, Alex Otti, expressed the general sentiment when he received the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Abubakar Momoh, and his team who came to Abia State for inspection of projects by the ministry and NDDC.

He attributed the plethora of abandoned NDDC projects to the indebtedness of the commission to its contractors thereby compelling them to quit the project sites.

According to a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kazie Uko, Otti appealed to the Niger Delta Minister to reverse the trend by assisting in ensuring that contractors are paid their outstanding debts.

He said: “Sometimes in the past, it was like a herculean task to get paid when handling NDDC projects, so if you can look into it, you can get a lot of the projects that were abandoned back to life.”

Otti told the minister that “Abia State is a major beneficiary of abandoned NDDC projects, and there is one, just around here (in Isialangwa South) that goes all the way to the expressway.”

The governor informed Momoh that the road project in reference was abandoned since 2018 because the contracting firm was being owed.

He said that the details could be provided for the minister to enable him find a way to mobilise the contractor to come back to work.

“There are others around Umuahia and Aba, and if we can get them to come back to work, I would really appreciate it, but the major issue is about payment,” he said.

Otti acknowledged the importance of both the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC to Abia State, adding that he was pleased the minister has come to the state to see things for himself.

He added: “I want to say that that Niger Delta Ministry, and of course, the Niger Delta Development Commission, are very important to us because these are two institutions that represent us at the same time even though we own one, that is the NDDC, but the ministry we do not own.

“These agencies are very important to us as interventionist in the normal course of the business of governance. The truth is that any road done by either the ministry or the agency under you is a plus to the state and we will not go back to it”.

The minister had earlier explained that he and his team were in Abia State to inspect projects undertaken by both the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry and the NDDC.

He made it clear that the Ministry of Niger Delta is not in competition with the NDDC, which is under its supervision, adding that other entities would collaborate and forge a robust relationship to achieve good results.

Momoh observed that Governor Otti is “one person that everybody loves” hence there was no dissenting voice when the issue of visiting Abia State was mentioned.

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