Senate Committee on NDDC decries abandoned projects

By The Citizen

The Senate Committee on Niger Delta Commission (NDDC) has expressed dissatisfaction over the number of projects abandoned by contractors across the Niger Delta.

Committee Chairman, Peter Nwaoboshi spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt  when he led members on a fact-finding mission.

Nwaoboshi said the committee had a list of contractors, who collected money only to abandon the projects.

He said the committee came to Rivers State to verify the petitions received by the Senate on activities of NDDC, adding that their visit is not meant to witch-hunt anybody.

Nwaoboshi said:  'We are here on referral from the Senate on the performance of NDDC. The Senate directed we should investigate petitions it received concerning NDDC. We are not here to witch-hunt anybody but we have come to carry out our oversight function and we will do it without fear or favour. We are also to discuss the report submitted to us by management of NDDC.

'We have been able to collect the budget of oil companies who are supposed to contribute their quota to the Commission. We learnt that they have refused to give their budget to you. The oil companies are to contribute 13 percent of their budget. Government cannot finance the commission alone. The private agencies have to contribute their own quota. We have summoned the Managing Director of NLNG and the Accountant- General of the federation to explain certain issues concerning the financing of the commission.

'We cannot play politics with the development of our region.  We will do our best to ensure that all the agencies that are supposed to contribute to the financing of the commission contribute their quota. Bayelsa State has the highest number of abandoned  projects  totaling 38. So many abandoned projects have been paid for and yet the projects have not been completed.'

Acting Managing Director of NDDC Mrs Ibim Semenitari told the committee that she inherited a debt profile of N800 billion from contractors between 2009 to 2012, adding that the intervention agency had commenced payment. The Nation