20th March, 2017
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has given contractors handling its projects across the Niger Delta 30 days to return to site and complete projects or face prosecution.
The ultimatum is in a statement by Mr Chijoke Amu-Nnadi, the commission’s Head of Corporate Affairs in Abuja on Monday.
Amu-Nnadi quoted the Managing Director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, as saying “a list of such contractors is being compiled in all the nine oil producing states and defaulters will be prosecuted.”
Ekere said it had become imperative to fast track ongoing audit of projects awarded in the region, in line with Federal Government directives and one of the planks of the new Governing Board’s 4-R Initiative.
He added that the Initiative was to restructure the balance sheet of the commission and determine poor performing projects.
He declared that it was important for contractors to realise that it was not business as usual.
He said “President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change how government business is conducted and everyone must wake up to that reality.
“But beyond that is the fact that we owe the Niger Delta region and our people the duty to implement and complete these projects to facilitate sustainable regional development.
“This is a necessary process to ensure that things are done properly.”
The NDDC boss said the 20-Point Agenda of the Petroleum Ministry with regards to the Niger Delta, as well as the Amnesty Programme, had been reviewed.
He added that the 16-point demands of the Pan Niger Delta Forum had also been reviewed.
He noted that “it is important to consolidate the agenda with that of Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as the blueprint of state governments, the amnesty office and the NDDC master plan 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 in handling issues that will impact the people.
“We will also organise frequent town hall meetings with stakeholders and collaborate in building sustainable economic models for communities in the Niger Delta.”
Among other decisions, he said, there was a need for the commission to work with Ministry of Environment and NOSREA to facilitate the Niger Delta clean-up of affected areas of oil spill, as well as encourage International Oil Companies (IOCs) to provide more power to host communities.
Satellite mapping, Ekere said, would be used to identify polluted areas in the region and a comprehensive plan of action adopted to ensure regional clean up.
He added that “this is important because we must safeguard our environment and give our people opportunities and an enabling environment to pursue our traditional means of livelihood.
“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.
“This is a future we must all work to safeguard.”