- Working with Tinubu demands results, not excuses, he says
The Minister of Niger Delta Development, Hon. Abubakar Momoh, defied heavy rainfall in Rivers and Bayelsa States Saturday to inspect projects executed by the ministry, emphasizing that when working with President Bola Tinubu, the demand for results leaves no room for excuses due to rain.
When reporters asked the minister about his decision to embark on the inspection of the ministry’s projects amid heavy rains and his motivations, he stated: “We are working with a president who wants results, and to achieve results, you cannot allow rain or anything else to deter you. Yes, I agree that it started raining when I left Port Harcourt, and it hasn’t stopped raining even here in Bayelsa, but that shouldn’t deter anyone determined to achieve results.
“I have seen the projects here in Odi and Adagbabiri – they are supposed to be beneficial projects for the community – the housing project and oil palm processing plant. However, the unfortunate thing is that when planning these projects, the flooding nature of Bayelsa State was not taken into account. Both of these projects are below water level, rendering them non-functional.
“For example, when I was told about a sand filling project in Odi, my initial impression was that it was meant to prepare the area for construction. Little did I know that there were already buildings in place. If you decide to sand-fill the area, it would reach the middle of the buildings. To make the housing project functional, you’d need to demolish the entire structure and reconstruct it, which means all the money spent there would be wasted because the place is uninhabitable.
“The same issue applies to the oil palm processing plant. If a construction project is below the level of the road, anything done there is futile. Even if you complete and commission such a project, it would serve no purpose other than for the newspapers; it would function. We couldn’t even inspect the housing and oil processing projects because of the flooding in the project site.”
He said he would like to call on the relevant departments involved to consider the flooding nature of the area and other factors when planning projects like these in the future.
According to him, “Since my arrival from Abuja for this working visit, I have seen for myself and have positive news to take back. The inspection of the Onopa canal also took place today, and I am pleased that the natives and traditional ruler confirmed that the project was well-executed. The design I observed convinced me that the work done there was reasonable.”
Regarding his expectations from the NDDC, the minister said: “I expect them to deliver quality projects, focusing on quality rather than quantity. High-quality projects will have a longer lifespan, while substandard ones will collapse within a year or two. I believe the new management will take this message to heart when designing their projects, considering all the factors and issues affecting these two projects – the housing and oil processing projects.”