Abandoned projects: Delta riverine communities petitions NDDC before EFCC 

By Ndu Samuel, Asaba

Some riverine communities in Delta State have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)  over projects claimed to have been executed in the communities. The Liberator Newspaper can report 

The communities under the aegis of Concerned Riverine Communities  through a petition signed by Ombebe Jeremy and   Ayaware Oruopade Chairman and  Secretary respectively and addressed to the EFCC Porthacourt zonal Director on Tuesday over alleged shady deals in all contracts claimed to have been executed by NDDC.

The petitioners are positing that all contracts that the commission claimed to have carried out in the Riverine communities were either non existing or badly executed in total breach of  Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and extant laws applicable to environmental matters. 

They also disclosed that all effort made to get information on the projects were vehemently rejected by the NDDC for reasons known to them alone.

They therefore want the anti graft agency to come to the aid of the people by conducting thorough inquiry into how those projects alleged to have been sited in the Riverine areas were awarded and executed.

The petition reads “That sometime in 2015, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded a contract for the carnalisation of Seitoru-Bulou/Ekametagbene Creek in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.The said contract was awarded to Westin Chivas Emerium Limited.” 

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“The project was only hurriedly and partly executed by the said Company in 2016 without Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) in breach of the extant laws applicable to environmental matters. However, NDDC and Weston Chivas Limited have claimed that they have duly executed the Project. Meanwhile, the job was not carried out according to specification.”

“That sometime in 2014, the NDDC awarded a project for the construction of Concrete Pavement Walkway, Phase II at Ayakoromo Town in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. Despite series of inquires as to the scope of work done and the identity of the contractor, if any, the NDDC has neither disclosed the identity of the contractor nor provided information about details of work done. Meanwhile, there is no single work on ground at the said Ayakoromo town.”

“That sometime in 2016, the NDDC awarded a contract for the canalisation of Oyangbene, Akparemogbene, Eseimogbene and Omosumo Creek in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. The said project was awarded to Fellyben Global Services Limited, Mighty Man Nigeria Limited amongst other companies. The project was hurriedly executed by the said companies without complying with the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation. The job was also carried out without specification in flagrant breach of the contract terms.”

“That on account of the above, we have engaged a law firm to write petitions in 2017 and 2018 respectively for production of Award Letters, Bills of Quantity, Particulars of Contractors, Projects Plan Drawing and Evidence of payments of the Contract Sum to prove as evidence of due execution of the said projects. However, to their chagrin, NDDC has vehemently neglected and or refused to provide same to them.”

“That upon NDDC’s refusal, we sought judicial review under the Freedom of Information Act, 2017 at the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State on the 11th day of July, 2018 for the productions of the documents mentioned in paragraph 4 above, however, the court ruled the matter in favour of NDDC.”

“That upon this brief, we have come to a fact finding conclusion that NDDC and its contractors have a syndicate to execute phantom projects in the Niger Delta Region, connived to carryout sub-standard works as well as to criminally divert projects.”

“The circumstance of the above, we urge on you to come to the rescue of the Niger Delta communities by carrying out a thorough investigation of the projects mentioned above. The Commission and its criminal collaborators are becoming a law unto themselves as the ordinary man does not have the financial will to fight the syndicate.”

The petition is coming few weeks after former Interim Management Committee  (IMC) Chairperson of the NDDC Joy Nunieh raised alarm over high level of  corruption perpetrated under the watchful eyes of the Minister of Niger Delta Godswill Akpabio.

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