‘NDDC needs N1tr to fund abandoned projects’

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NDDCThe Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) requires over N1 trillion to complete abandoned projects, the Senate said yesterday.

The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, gave the figure during the screening of the chairman, managing director and other nominees for the NDDC Board.

Abatemi-Usman said the members of the committee were shocked when they were confronted with the staggering amount during their oversight function to the commission.

He said the committee members were worried over the litany of abandoned projects dotting the Niger Delta region.

President Goodluck Jonathan had forwarded the name of Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw and Mr. Bassey Dan-Abia for screening and confirmation as chairman and managing director of the NDDC Board.

While Ewa-Henshaw was nominated to represent Cross River State in the NDDC, Dan-Abia was named to represent Akwa Ibom State.

Others, whose names were also sent to the Senate for confirmation,included Itotenaan Henry Ogiri (Executive Director, Finance and Administration) Rivers); Tuoyo Omatsulu (Executive Director, Projects) Delta; Ball Turofade Oyarede (Bayelsa), Chief Ephraim Sobere Etete (Rivers); Etim Inyang Jnr (Akwa Ibom); Adah Paul Andeshi (Cross River) and Sir Tom Amioku (Delta).

Others are Samuel Okezie Nwogu (Abia); Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo); Maj.-Gen. Suleiman Barau (Northcentral); Alhaji Abdulmaik Mahmud (Northeast); Benson Adegbenro (Ondo) and Mark Ward.

The senator insited that the Managing Director nominee, Mr. Bassey Dan-Abia, should tell the committee how the abandoned projects would be completed and how abandoned projects would become a thing of the past in the commission.

Dan-Abia, in his response said part of his immediate task, if confirmed would be to set up effective project monitoring committee.

He noted that with effective project monitoring committee, the commission would identify and complete abandoned projects.

He added that before the projects were awarded, they would have been valued and properly funded to avoid project abandonment.

Dan-Abia also said the failure of some of those in leadership positions in the commission to appreciate their roles and functions breeds friction in the commission.

He noted that the NDDC Act specified the functions of chairman, MD and other board members of the commission, lamenting however that “failure to appreciate what role each person should play causes friction in NDDC”.

 

[The Nation]

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