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Bayelsa committee to probe abandoned projects

02 July 2014, 07:44Augustine Osayande

Abuja - Bayelsa State has inaugurated a nine-member special committee to monitor the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) projects abandoned three years ago.

Speaking during the inauguration, the State Governor Seriake Dickson, expressed concern over the alarming rate of the abandoning, describing the trend as unacceptable.

The Governor mandated the committee to identify all contracts awarded by the NDDC from its inception in Bayelsa, establish their locations as well as identify the contractors.

The committee is also expected to determine the costs of those contracts, ascertain the amounts paid as well as the extent of work done and also look at the issue of whether, the state is appropriately represented in all cadres of the NDDC, among other terms of reference.

The Governor noted that there were concerns that most of the projects awarded by the commission to complement development efforts in the state had been abandoned.

He said the committee was not set up to witch-hunt but to ensure that the state got its share of NDDC's projects as a major contributor of the funds with which the commission executed its core mandate in the region.

He identified the perennial politicisation of the commission as a major factor militating against the effective implementation of of development projects, noting that, some contractors defraud the state and go scot-free with ill-gotten wealth at the the detriment of the people.

“There are concerns that some projects are completed and payments made only on paper and because of the over politicisation of NDDC, you have a situation where people sit down in other places, get contracts awarded to themselves and their cronies, receive payment, but will not come on ground to do those jobs, and even when they come, they don't execute the jobs to the end.

“I appreciate the Federal Government for the various intervention programmes they have executed in this state using the NDDC. But, a number of Bayelsans are asking, why is it that most NDDC projects in some other neighbouring states are completed, visible and being used by their people," Dickson said.

“Some have even asked, are we sure that our state benefits maximally according to our production, and therefore our contribution to that fund. These are all relevant questions that we must find answers for our people, because it is their right to know,” he said.

He warned unscrupulous contractors to turn a new leaf and assured Bayelsans of his administration's readiness to complement the Federal Government in monitoring projects meant for the state to ensure their completion.

Chairman of the Committee, Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo thanked the Governor for finding them worthy to carry out what he described as a great task and pledged to do their best for the good of the state.

Other members of the committee are Honorable Donald Egberibein, Dr Meeting Andawei, Rebecca Suowari, MacManuel Parkinson, Timi Kay, Sunny Omekwe and Engineer Wenapre Deo who will serve as the Secretary of the committee.

- CAJ News

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