FG may prosecute NDDC contractors for failure to execute projects

The presidency yesterday hinted that it would commence the prosecution of contractors who collected mobilisation funds from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) but failed to execute projects.

This follows the cancellation of no fewer than 600 projects valued at over N200 billion.

The presidency has also directed the ministries of finance, budget and planning, as well as the NDDC to reconcile the claims that the federal government was indebted to the commission to the tune of N1.7 trillion.

Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, told newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday that the board decided at its last meeting to cancel 600 non-performing contracts valued at N200 billion as part of new strategy to address over bloated balance sheet responsible for the NDDC contingent liability of N1.3 trillion.

Ekere explained that some of the projects were either not properly procured or were procured but the contractors did not appear in site since 2002 after they had been mobilised.

He said it was sad and surprising that contractors would collect advance payment from the commission and went away without executing a single job on site.

“We are determined to go after the contractors who got money from the NDDC and abandoned their projects. We are not only going after the contractors, we are going after the banks that issued the advance payment guarantees.

We have already recovered N60 million for the banks. We are working with the presidency for the prosecution of the defaulting contractors,” he said.

Ekere added that the new management has resolved to restore NDDC to its core mandate of driving integrated regional development in the oil producing states.

He said the era where projects were awarded for political reasons was over, insisting that henceforth, the commission would only focus on projects that would advance the socio-economic fortunes of the oil-bearing communities.

He noted that the NDDC has been working with development partners on the integrated regional development master plan, which has articulated polices and programmes that would be collectively executed by all development stakeholders.

On the N1.7 trillion federal government’s indebtedness to the commission, Ekere explained that based on a letter the NDDC wrote to President Mohammadu Buhari, seeking his intervention, he had directed the ministries of finance, budget and national planning to reconcile the differences with the commission.

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NDDCNsima Ekere
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