Senate Probes NDDC, Team In Abia On Fact Finding Tour | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Senate Probes NDDC, Team In Abia On Fact Finding Tour

Posted: Mar 9, 2016 at 12:40 am   /   by   /   comments (3)

Ben Duru

The Senate Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has commenced investigations into alleged non-execution of contracts as well as lack of impact on the host communities within the region where majority of the people are living far below average.

Apart from meeting the welfare needs of the people, infrastructure development had suffered dearly as most of the roads especially belonging to the Federal Government that ought to be handled or ameliorated by the NDDC have remained death traps.

The commission which was established immediately after Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 to cushion the sufferings of the people of the nine states in the region has severally been accused of not seeking the input of the governors and the stakeholders in the conception of projects and programmes.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who enumerated some of the sins of the commission lamented the near lack of pragmatism on the part of the board, said the federal roads in the area had remained uncared for and a source of concern for all and sundry.

He further said that even where the state had undertaken to rehabilitate some of the federal roads, contractors awarded the job had refused to do the job and some gone to court to stop the state government from progressing further.

The governor told the committee headed by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi at Government House, Umuahia that conceptualisation of projects has so far remained the sole business of the commission, leaving the state and people at their mercy, insisting that this was largely responsible for projects not needed by the people.
He described the fact finding mission of the committee as right on time, so as to obtain first hand information from the grassroots as to whether their sufferings had been cushioned or not.

Governor Ikpeazu posited that with the effort and the visit, the budget of NDDC would have requisite impact on the grassroots, regretting that the intervention of the NDDC has not been quite palatable for Abia State.

“There is subsisting court case against the state by an NDDC contractor on Obohia road in Aba where the state government wanted to intervene”, the governor said, lamenting the dilapidation of most federal roads leading into Aba including the Port Harcourt road and the Aba-Ikot Ekpene road.

“Abia State and my government is willing to partner the NDDC in the state. Abia will be ready to access NDDC resources to enhance the development of the state. But we need to work together for the good of the people,” he said.

Leader of the delegation and Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Peter Nwoboshi said that the committee was in the state based on complaints that money being voted for the development of the Niger Delta through NDDC does not get to the people.

He explained that they were in the state to do a holistic investigation into the matter to report back to the Senate, and that it was not only in Abia but the nine states in the region that the committee would be visiting.

While in the Abia and the other eight states, Senator Nwaoboshi said they will look at NDDC projects and their impact to the state as well as to interact with the government to enable it make input on priority areas towards the 2016 budget.

Chief James Ikpa who hails from Ukwa West, one of the areas to be visited by the team said NDDC’s impact in the area was non-existent, adding that they feel the impact of the Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission more.
He urged the committee to be wary of being led off track by officials of the commission who had all the while fed fat on the carcasses of the suffering people of the area.