From NWADIKE UGOCHUKWU, Port Harcourt
THE Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs. Ibim Samenitari has said she inherited from the past administration of Niger Delta Development Commission billions of naira as debt owed to the various categories of contractors with the commission.
Semeritari dropped this figures in an exclusive interview with National Daily in Port Harcourt, said that, so far, One Hundred and Eighty Contractors have received their payments and entitlement while the remaining unpaid Contractors are yet to be paid.
She explained that the due process in awarding the contract and its completion based on quality of performances was not neglected in approving the payment of those Contractors who have received their payment.
The NDDC Boss regretted that some Contractors with the COMMISSION has executed their projects below standard while some could not be able to execute the contract given to them stressing that lack of fund has being a major challenges facing the Commission.The Managing Director said that there are a lot of debt owed to the Commission by different people and Organizations, Agencies and Stakeholders who usually contribute to the Commission adding that the Commission at present is facing with a huge debt challenging the payment of Contractors.
Mrs. Semenitari debunked report by some Contractors that since inception in office, she has not hold any meeting with Contractors, pointing out that due process would always be followed in tackling the problem of those Contractors who have collected money and refuse to execute their projects.
She assured that the Commission would not abandon to tackle the problem of uncompleted projects by the Contractors working with the Commission.
According to Semenitari , we have issue with Communities. it is not possible that NDDC will do all the contracts, the contract was awarded over sixteen years, so how do we know the status of the roads. We cannot ascertain the nature of the road, the reason is that the commission cannot do everything.
Continued Mrs. Semeritari stated that the Commission must be a partner with relevant agencies to boost the Socio Economic of the Niger Delta region. We have meeting with contractors and we meet at different time, she said.
In another development, a major Contractor with NDDC, High Chief, Jasper Jumbo said that NDDC own the Contractors 1.6trillion, He added that the Niger Delta Contractors have not been paid by the Interventionist Agency was set up by the Federal Government to carter for the needs of the Niger Delta people, it take time to process the contract documents.
However Jumbo called on President Buhari to looked into the plight of Niger Delta people in order to address the issue of environmental degradation occasioned by the activities of Oil and Gas companies in the Niger Delta region.
Jumbo also express dismay over NDDC abandoned projects called on the Federal Government to release NDDC funds to enable the commission to perform their duties, adding that without funds, NDDC cannot execute any project.