NDDC Projects: Contractors To Face Prosecution After 30 Days Ultimatum

NDDC Gives Contractors 30 Days to Return to SiteThe Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has given contractors handling its projects 30 days to return to site and complete the projects or face prosecution.

The Managing Director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, stated this following an Inter-Ministerial meeting in Abuja chaired by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The meeting, which took place over the weekend, had in attendance Ministers of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Environment, Niger Delta, Information and Culture, as well as the Presidential Amnesty Office.

It reviewed the 20-Point Agenda of the Petroleum Ministry with regards to the Niger Delta, as well as the Amnesty Programme and the 16-point demand of the Pan Niger Delta Forum.

Mr Ekere said “a list of such contractors is being compiled in all the nine NDDC states and defaulters would be prosecuted”.

He stressed the need to fast-track the ongoing audit of projects awarded in the Niger Delta region, in line with government directives.

“It is important for our contractors to realise that it can’t be business as usual. President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change how government business is conducted and everyone must wake up to that reality.

Workable Plan

“But beyond that is the fact that we owe the Niger Delta region and our people the duty to implement and complete these projects, in order to facilitate sustainable regional development.

“This is a necessary process to ensure that things are done properly, how they ought to be done and when they ought to be done. It is important to consolidate the agenda with that of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as the blueprint of the State Governments, the Amnesty Office and the NDDC Master Plan, in order to roll them into one workable plan.

“We are all going to initiate quick-win projects that will give a sense of involvement to government’s approach to handling issues that will impact the people. We will organise frequent town hall meetings with all stakeholders and collaborate in building sustainable economic models for the communities of the Niger Delta,” Ekere said.

The NDDC boss also emphasised the need for the Commission to work with the Ministry of Environment and NOSREA, to facilitate the clean-up exercise in affected areas of oil spill, work on a time frame and encourage IOCs to provide more power to their host communities beyond working with Electricity Distribution Companies.

“Satellite mapping will be used to identify polluted areas in the Niger Delta and a comprehensive plan of action adopted to ensure regional clean-up. This is important because we must ensure that we safeguard our environment and give our people the opportunity and enabling environment to pursue our predominant traditional livelihoods.

“Agriculture and aquaculture are key to facilitating sustainable development in the region, particularly as we seek alternate productive socio-economic activities beyond oil and gas,” he said.

 

South-South Governors Reprimanded By Edwin Clark

edwin_clarkeGovernors of States in Nigeria’s South-South region were over the weekend reprimanded by the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Mr Edwin Clark.

He said that the time had come for the people to hold the governors accountable for underdevelopment of the region, mismanagement of funds and acts of intimidation.

Speaking at the third General Assembly of PANDEF, Mr Clark, who berated some of the governors for spending the 13 per cent derivation funds as if they were not accountable to the people, said the behaviour of the governors was unacceptable to the people.

He alleged that some of them were intimidating citizens in their states, citing a case in Bayelsa State, where he said he had to intervene after the then governor arrested some persons, including a woman and her little baby.

The elder statesman said: “Another worrisome issue is the manner the six governors of the oil producing states are spending the 13% derivation funds under Section 162 (95) of the 1919 Constitution, without adequate regard to the oil producing communities, nor are they accountable to anyone.

“Out of the six oil producing states, only three have constituted a commission or body to manage the funds. They are Delta, Edo and Ondo.

“I understand that 50 per cent of the amount paid by the Federal Government is released to these commissions, while the remaining 50 per cent is retained by the governors for their own expenditure at will. This money is also not budgeted for in the state coffers.

“Unfortunately, the governments of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers in particular, have refused to set up such commissions to manage the 13 per cent derivation monies collected under the guise that every local government in the states produces oil and gas. This reason is unacceptable.

“We will no longer accept a situation where governors will intimidate and harass people who they swore to protect and care for.

“They behave as if all is well in the region. It is not enough for them to be present during our visit to Mr. President because they had no discussions with us before the visit”.

He recalled that about 18 oil producing communities along the Atlantic Ocean, spread across two oil producing states, producing about 63 barrels of oil a day, petitioned the Federal Government in 2013 over their abandonment by the affected governors, threatening to shut down the flow stations in their areas.