BY EMEKA EJERE
Following the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), many contractors have returned to sites to complete abandoned projects with their personal fund, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has said.
Disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing newsmen in Abuja on the activities of the ministry in 2020 and work plans for 2021, Akpabo said the ongoing audit at the NDDC had already achieved a lot.
The minister said, “Even those contracts that were awarded since 2004 and abandoned, as I speak, some of those contractors have returned to the sites to execute them.
“It is very clear that the forensic audit has already achieved a lot even before the results are out. I will give you just one example. In the estate where my brother the honourable minister of state stays, about four road projects are being constructed and they are almost completed.
“You will be surprised that we have not given out one single road project since we came in as ministers because of the fact that we have issues of budget and budget perception, which was just last year December resolved by the National Assembly.
“And also street lighting projects suddenly emerged; almost everywhere and we have over 75 projects right now that have been completed without even giving out one.”
Akpabio said the ministry was taking steps to develop the Niger Delta region while engaging public-private partnerships to complete ongoing projects through alternative sources of funding.
The minister said 52 projects in the nine Niger Delta States were ready for inauguration, including a skill acquisition centre at Agadagba in Ondo State, which would be handed over to Federal Polytechnic, Ile Oluji, subject to presidential approval.