Minister orders audit of NDDC abandoned projects in Akwa Ibom
Agency’s debt profile rises to N1 trillion
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, has ordered that all abandoned projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), in Akwa Ibom State be audited in order to hasten the process of execution.
The minister gave the order even as he worried about the debt profile of the agency, which he revealed has gone up to N1 trillion despite that many of its projects are abandoned.
The minister who was on a site inspection of NDDC projects in the state revealed that the ministry is currently awaiting the approval of the presidency to carry out a full scale audit of all NDDC projects in the Niger Delta region.
Director of Press, Mashall Gundu, quoted the minister in a statement yesterday that, “We came to look at the projects of NDDC in particular because the debt profile of the commission is in excess of N1 trillion and it is quite disturbing that with the huge investment of resources from oil companies, government and all intervention programmes, the Niger Delta as a whole is still very backward.”
The Minister added that it was the major concern for the government that people were not seeing the dividends of the investments of government, saying he decided to have an on- the -spot assessment and objective view of whatever was being done by the Commission.
According to the statement, some of the projects inspected by the minister included the prototype students hostel located at the University of Uyo and an abandoned road project site at Ikot Akpatek, in Onna Local Government Area.
On the prototype hostel, which took off in 2004, the Minister, sought to know the mobilisation sum so far and a reassessment of work done compared to the total amount received since the take off of the project.
The minister noted that the current administration would curb duplication of projects.“At present, we are expecting approval from the presidency to audit all projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission as was done in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; once that approval is given, we will set into action, and we will make sure that those who do not have capacity to do their projects will relinquish such projects on terms that are acceptable within rules of procurement, and those who have capacity, but failed to do, will be caused to complete such projects by whatever means”, the minister said.
The state Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang, who was in the minister’s entourage to the project sites alleged that most of the NDDC abandoned projects in the state were published in the past by the Commission as completed. He therefore, assured that the report of what the state government has discovered on the NDDC projects would be submitted to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, with a view to compare with what the staff of the Commission will submit.