N61.4bn NDDC Abandoned Projects: House Committee Summons Former NDDC CEOs

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The House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee investigating abandoned projects in the Niger Delta region on Wednesday summoned all the former Managing Directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to appear before it on Friday over abandoned projects valued at N61. 4 billion
The committee Chairman, Hon. Nicholas Ossai, representing Ndokwa/Ukwani Federal Constituency, Delta State, issued the summon after grilling the NDDC management, which appeared before his committee.
Among the NDDC, CEOs expected at the House investigation Committee are, Timi Alaibe, Nsima Ekere, Nelson Brambaifa, and Emmanuel Agwariavwodo.
According to Ossai, who read from a 2013-2018 report of the Auditor-General on NDDC, “Considering the enormous amount of money paid to the contractors as mobilisation fees without any value derived thereby, it can be affirmed that the commission lacked effective control in the process of contract award and payment.”
He said the key issue was that the commission should recover the sum of N61.4 billion that the contractors allegedly collected, which he noted, was the summary of what they were given in terms of people who didn’t go to site
He stressed that in terms of excess payment, N5.8billion must be refunded.
Querying the Director of Finance and Supply, Dr. Ogbalubi Linus, Ossai demanded to know if at any particular point in time, the commission awarded a contract to a company for Ogborodo shore protection .
“The figure here is that the contact sum of N1.042 billion was awarded to this engineering company and examination of NDDC contract payment status from the Finance and Accounts Department revealed that the contractor has been paid 50 per cent, N521.3million for job that was done less than 11 per cent,” Ossai stated
Asked what percentage of the job was done, Linus, said: “They didn’t do much. I don’t think it was up to 20 per cent. I don’t have the figure here but I am not sure it was up to 20-25 percent.”
Members of the committee expressed shock over the number of abandoned projects awarded by NDDC and abandoned by the contractors since 2000.
The lawmakers were equally stunned with the revelation that about 250 projects were executed under the emergency project platform without approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement.
“This committee invites all past MDs including the immediate one, Executive Director of Finance and Projects to appear before the committee on Friday and the acting Managing Director should communicate to them either in writing on by phone to appear before this committee,” Ossai said.
Also, the Auditor General’s audit report of 2013 on NDDC stressed that 626 contractors collected money without visiting the sites of the projects.
According to Ossai, some contractors that collected the money may probably not be afraid of NDDC, but assured Nigerians that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would be invited to investigate the matter.
“The ones they collected money and never visited sites is 626 contractors. In Abia State, 32 projects were abandoned and they collected N2 billion. In Akwa Ibom, 64 projects abandoned, contractors never went to site and collected a sum of N4.2 billion; in Bayelsa–80 contractors collected N4.9 billion; Cross River, 29 contractors collected N2.06 billion; Delta, 99 contractors collected N7.8 billion; Edo, 51 contractors– N2.06 billion; Imo, 33 contractors collected N1.8 billion; Ondo, 50 contractors collected N6. 17 billion; Rivers, 106 contractors collected N13.14 billion, all amounting to N61.4 billion,” he explained.
He also alluded to the report of the Auditor General, which disclosed that 1,723 contractors never went to sites.
“According to the paper before me N70.4 billion was collected and they never went to site and in the course of other investigations on this matter in different stages, the office of the Auditor General discovered and found out that 61.4 billion should be recovered by your organisation, what measure since then did you take to recover this money back to the government.
“This committee invites all past MDs including the immediate one, Executive Director of Finance and Projects to appear before the committee on Friday and the acting Managing Director should communicate to them either in writing on by phone to appear before this committee,” Ossai said.

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